One tree which can fill both of those requirements is the "Shaggy
Barked River Birch," sometimes just called "River Birch." Mine is six
years old, stands 40 feet, was started as a rooted cutting, The bark
makes it attractive both winter and summer.
Here is an overview and image of the tree from Ohio State University:
Here is a view of the bark:
http://www.oakridger.com/images/011702/birch1.jpg - From oakridger.com
"The most beautiful of American trees-that's what Prince Maximilian
thought of river birch (Betula nigra) when he toured North America
before he became the short-lived Emperor of Mexico (11). Also known as
red birch, water birch, or black birch (15), it is the only birch
whose range includes the southeastern coastal plain and is also the
only spring-fruiting birch. Although the wood has limited usefulness,
the tree's beauty makes it an important ornamental, especially at the
northern and western extremes of its natural range." Quote from USDA
While the map does not show the range extending far up into Indiana,
rest assured, the tree does well far into the Great Lakes Region.
And no kidding. Your tree can be nearly the size of the one in the
Ohio State picture from a rooted cutting, in only ten years. This
would be my first choice for both your needs. While they can be
planted in the fall (mine was) it is best to do so ing the spring or
early summer. The failure rate is a little higher with fall planting.
One of the fastest growing trees is the Hybrid Poplar, up to 5 to 8
feet per year. The roots are invasive so it would be a good tree for
planting away from buildings or sidewalks. It also has a long history
of use. - "There are many crosses that go by the name Hybrid Poplar,
but this one between Eastern Cottonwood from the United States and
Black Poplar from Europe and North Africa has been a favorite for a
very long time. Botanists and Hobbyists in colonial times are said to
have exchanged the parent trees across the ocean, with both natural
and artificial hybrids soon resulting. The oldest account of the tree
was given by a scientist in 1785." Since these trees are part
cottonwood, they are also members of the willow family and grow well
in damp conditions. - quote from The National Arbor Day Foundation
http://www.arborday.org/trees/treeguide/TreeDetail.cfm?id=31 - You
will find photos and information about the tree.
Take another look at the River Birch
Now for the Eastern Cottonwood.
This tree can also grow at the rate of 8 feet per year and is great
for fast shade. Once again there is an invasive root structure and
the same care should be chosen for the location of this tree as for
the Hybrid Poplar.
You will find an overview of this tree here:
http://www.kansasforests.org/CTPFAQ/cottonwood.htm - From Kansas Forest Service
- This tree can reach 90ft and spread 90ft.
You can plant River Birch a little closer to the house.
If you want something a little different, why not have a planting of
redwoods in Indiana. You really can, you know.
The Dawn Redwood is a native of China and was thought to be extinct
till it was rediscovered in the 1940's. They are being planted as
far north as New England. They look like the classic redwood of the
Pacific coast, but unlike Pacific redwoods, these lose their leaves in
the winter. They can grow three feet a year and you can take a look at them here:
( http://www.cdr3.com/redwoods/re00003.htm ) - website of Empire National Nursery
Redwoods might look nice as a backdrop to River Birchs.
Another tree you may consider is the Ameri-Willow. Very fast growing
and easily managed. You can learn more about it and view some photos
(note the size of 14 month trees): ( http://www.cdr3.com/willow/ ) -
this is another page from Empire National Nursery. One of the
testimonials about Ameri-Willow is about trees growing in Chicago, so
they should be hardy enough for your area. If opinions matter, these
would be the trees I recommend based on your description. While they
do lose their leaves in the winter, they can be planted close enough
together that the network of branches in the winter can still provide
some privacy. "Plant the Ameri-Willow about five to six feet apart.
Or, you can plant two off-set rows at eight to ten feet apart, and
you'll have a solid "green wall" in just a couple years!" - Quote from
Once again, by dealing with a willow, dampness is no problem.
A combination of Ameri-willow and River Birchs would make a nice fast
Mentioned trees may be found, purchased online, and shipped from:
http://www.naturehills.com/ - Nature Hills Nursery. They are located
in Omaha so there should be little acclimatization needed for stock
purchased from there. You will find information and images about
other fast growing trees also.
Empire National Nursery linked in the answer is a good source for the Ameri-willow.
Search - Google
Terms - fast growing trees for midwest
Personal growing experience for various tree varieties
If I may clarify anything before rating, please ask.