Planting trees in your yard is a great way to add beauty, shade, and value to your property. However, not all trees are created equal. Some trees can become a real headache for homeowners due to their invasive roots, weak branches, messy fruits, or susceptibility to diseases and pests.
Choosing the correct type of tree for your yard is essential to avoid future problems and maintenance costs. In this article, we’ll highlight some of the most troublesome trees you should avoid planting in your yard and alternative options that can provide the same benefits without headaches.
1. Chinese Flame Trees
Originating from southern China, Chinese flame trees, also known as Koelreuteria Bipinnata trees, offer an attractive sight yet have their benefits and drawbacks.
They pose a threat due to their rapid multiplication, as a single tree can lead to the growth of a whole forest. Furthermore, after their flowers fade, their seed capsules disperse throughout the surroundings, making it difficult to eradicate them from the yard.
2. Eucalyptus Tree
Indigenous to Australia, Tasmania, and nearby islands, gum or stringybark trees, also known as eucalypti, are diverse trees with many different species. While eucalyptus trees are admired for their pleasant aroma and medicinal properties, they are unsuitable for yard planting.
Eucalypti dehydrate quickly and require more nutrients than most plants, leading them to absorb essential nutrients from the surrounding soil, causing other plants to die.
The American tulip tree, yellow-poplar, or Liriodendron tulipifera, commonly known as tulip poplars, are tall and beautiful trees in eastern North America, reaching over 80 feet.
However, they require careful maintenance and caution. While they offer an appealing view, particularly during their orange leaf season, sitting under them is not recommended due to the risk of falling branches and twigs, especially during storms.
Cupressus x leylandii, a fast-growing tree resembling a Christmas tree, is famous for yard privacy. However, these trees, with their wide varieties, are unsuitable for yard planting due to their rapid growth and size, which can pose safety hazards during storms.
Privacy is essential; planting these trees is not worth the risk. Leyland Cypress trees are also prone to fungal infections, creating further safety hazards.
5.Bradford Pear Tree Flowers
Bradford Pear Trees, also known as “Callery” pear, are native to Asia, imported to the eastern United States, and widely planted around homes in the 1960s.
Given their height, over 50 feet, the smell can be overwhelming, making them a poor choice for those looking to keep their yard or garden smelling fresh. These trees are attractive, but their unpleasant odour poses a significant drawback.
6. Black Walnut Trees
Black walnut trees, also known as Juglans nigra, can be a nightmare for garden or yard enthusiasts due to the toxins they produce.
To maintain a yard with black walnut trees, gardeners must replace their plants with juglone-resistant varieties, which is time-consuming and challenging. Therefore, having black walnut trees in your yard may not be worth the effort and could pose significant challenges to maintaining a healthy garden.
7. Mimosa Trees
Mimosa trees, also called Albizia julibrissin, are native to the Middle East and China but were brought to the United States. While their bright colour may be attractive, they are not worth the effort.
These fast-growing trees are short-lived, attract insects such as web worms and moths, and are prone to breakage. Opting for other tree varieties is best to ensure a healthier and easier-to-maintain garden or yard.
8. Sweetgum Trees
Sweet gum trees, also called Liquidambar, are indigenous to the southeastern region of the United States. They were popular in the 1940s due to their straight, tall structure with a single trunk that could grow up to 75 feet.
They provide beautiful autumn leaves; their seedling pods are troublesome. With rugged, spiky exteriors, they are difficult to remove from unwanted spaces.
9. Magnolia Trees
Magnolias are famous for their beautiful white flowers, but planting one in your yard might not be the best idea. They need a lot of maintenance and attract insects such as caterpillars, thrips, and aphids that cause premature leaf fall.
The trees shed throughout the year. Avoiding these high-maintenance trees to avoid dealing with the hassle is better.
10. Gingko Trees
Ginkgo biloba, also called maidenhair, is a unique tree with colourful foliage, an attractive shape, and drought-resistant qualities. However, female ginkgo trees drop fruits, which can create pollution and require a lot of cleaning.
To avoid this, it is best to choose male ginkgo trees instead. Gardeners should research before planting a ginkgo tree to avoid any unwanted hassles.
11. Silver Maple Trees
Silver maple trees are widespread in North America, but are more troublesome than they are worth. While they are easy to grow, their invasive roots can damage side walks, water lines, and landscapes.
These trees also occupy a lot of space and compete with other plants for nutrients. Therefore, it is best to avoid planting silver maples to prevent the inconvenience they can cause.
12. Red Oak Trees
The northern red oak trees have beautiful, large leaves unsuitable for gardens or yards. These trees shed leaves, tiny flowers, and catkins, particularly in autumn and spring.
They attract insects, bacteria, and fungi. While they suit streets, they are not a wise choice for fields or yards. It is best to opt for other trees that require less maintenance.
13. Tree of Heaven
Despite its heavenly name, the Ailanthus altissima, or tree of heaven, is anything but desirable to plant in a garden or backyard. Originally from China, these trees are fast-growing and difficult to contain.
They can outgrow and consume other plants and produce an excessive amount of seeds, which can pose a threat to the surrounding vegetation. As a result, planting these trees in your yard is not recommended.
14. Birch Trees
Birch trees, known for their beautiful white bark, have a significant drawback once planted: nothing else can grow near them. Their shallow roots harden soil and take up a lot of space.
Cutting their roots is not a solution, as it defeats their purpose. Birch trees are also prone to attracting pests, making them an unappealing choice for many homeowners looking to avoid these problems.
15. Ash Trees
Ash trees are appealing due to their resilience, fast growth, and beautiful green leaves. But, emerald ash borers have posed a significant threat to these trees, causing damage and destruction.
The beetles have already destroyed millions of ash trees. Although treatment options are available, there is no cure for their destruction.
16. Weeping Willow Trees
These trees, known as Salix babylonica or Babylon willows, originated from Asia and were popularly traded along the Silk Road. However, their aggressive roots are their main drawback.
They damage pavements and water lines, absorb soil moisture that could harm other plants, and are best avoided in a yard.
17. Russian Olive Trees
Russian olive trees may appear attractive in a garden due to their silvery leaves and cool-colored trunks. However, the more you learn about them, the less appealing they seem.
These trees have a suffocating effect on other plants, and their fruits, consumed by birds, cause their seeds to spread and lead to their rapid multiplication and dominance of an area.
18. Sycamore Trees
Sycamore trees may be attractive during certain times of the year but create a considerable mess.
Their seeds and leaves make a mess around them, and they are susceptible to fungal infections, which causes them to shed more leaves. Unfortunately, cleaning up after them is nearly impossible.
19. Mulberry Trees
Mulberry trees, or Morus alba, produce small fruits in the summer that attract pests like fruit flies and rot when they ferment.
These pests can wander into your home from your yard and cause damage. Additionally, the aggressive roots of white mulberries can crack pavement, making them a poor choice for planting.
20. Aspen Trees
Aspen trees, also known as quaking aspen, are native to North America and have distinctive flattened trunks and branches that tremble in the wind.
Aspen trees tend to overgrow and spread wildfires, and their roots can damage plumbing systems. To avoid potential disasters, it’s best to avoid planting these trees in your yard.
21. Lombardy Poplar Trees
Lombardy’s poplar trees, or Populus nigra, increase by up to six feet a year, making them a popular choice for privacy in yards.
These trees are recognized for their column-like shape, but are vulnerable to damage. They attract insects and diseases, and their female trees produce cottony seeds, requiring regular maintenance.
22. Mountain Cedar Trees
People with allergies suffer the most during spring and fall, when allergenic plants fully bloom. The mountain cedar tree, found in the southern and central regions of the US, is a significant allergen.
These trees release massive amounts of pollen, affecting people and their neighbours. Living near this tree can be a nightmare if anyone has outdoor allergies.
23. Eastern white pines
Eastern white pines are fast-growing trees often used for privacy and windbreaks and are known for their pine cones and green needles, making them a popular choice as Christmas trees.
These trees are notorious for their sticky sap, damaging car paint, clothing, and other materials. The mess caused by their fluid, especially when hanging over driveways or patios, makes them less desirable for homeowners.
24. Catalpa Trees
Catalpa trees are admired for their attractive flowers, which resemble orchids. These fast-growing trees can reach heights of 60 feet and widths of 40 feet. However, many people are unaware that their leaves do not change to appealing colors when they die; instead, they blacken and drop.
Catalpa trees require upkeep, especially if planted in a garden, due to the petals and leaves that fall during the spring and summer blooming seasons.
25. Pecan Trees
Pecan trees are renowned for producing delicious nuts, but they are not suitable for residential backyards. These trees are prone to branch and twig fall, making them a potential hazard.
Pecan trees are often grown for commercial purposes. As a result, it is best to buy pecans from stores rather than increase them in a home garden.
The best trees to plant are native to your region, as they are naturally suited to your local climate and soil. Although growing trees may result in a good view, it is essential to consider how they will impact your health and safety. In addition, you should always do extensive research before purchasing any tree for your home garden. To cut back trees, find a healthy, thriving one. Once you have done so, use pruning shears to clip branches within arm’s reach and up to six inches from the trunk