Q: I removed several trees and now the sun shines on the front, making it way hotter. What is a super fast-growing evergreen tree I could plant to block the sun?
A: I know you want shade in the summer but consider that you may want more sunshine in the winter to keep the house warmer, so don’t rule out deciduous trees. Much depends on how tall you want the tree to grow. Tulip popular is fast growing but grows so tall that it is too big for most landscapes. Maples are a good choice. Avoid silver maple, but there are several red maple varieties that do well here.
If you want the fastest growth from a tree, prepare the soil before you plant it. Thoroughly loosen the soil ten inches deep and six feet in all directions from where the trunk of the tree will be. Wash or manually remove as much soil as you possibly can from the young tree root ball. It’s fine for the roots to be bare for a few minutes. Untangle the roots and spread them in all directions from the trunk in the center of the area you loosened. Cover the roots with native soil so that the area where the trunk flares out to become the roots is just above the soil level. Mulch the entire area with a layer of arborist woodchips three inches deep. There is no need to add fertilizer or soil amendments to the soil before you plant. Water appropriately in summer and you’ll have the fastest growing tree possible.