Trees are a great addition to any yard. They provide shade, fruits, nuts, and beauty, but not all trees are good for yards. Some trees can drop nuts that kill your grass, grow roots that can damage pipes and just plain stink. Here are seven trees that should be avoided!
The Princess Tree or Paulownia Tomentosa
Also called Empress Tree, this beautiful tree and its pink flowers is an extremely aggressive species. Originally from China, these trees are now seen growing wild along roadsides and streams and spread quickly. They propagate seedlings all over your yard that must be pulled up by hand if you don’t want an entire forest sprouting on your lawn!
The Silver maple or Acer Saccharinum
This tree is native to the U.S. but it won’t hesitate to attack your yard. Its roots spread out quickly and close to the surface, which can burst your underground pipes, especially if they’re old or rusty. Aboveground, you have the branches to worry about; the wind is prone to knock them, or even the whole tree, to the ground. If you decide to plant one make sure you plant them downhill from your home so it doesn’t crash down on you during a particularly windy day.
The Ash or Fraxinus
The ash itself doesn’t cause much trouble; the problem is keeping it from being eaten. The Emerald Ash Borer is an insect that has started eating through ash trees. To keep these bugs away from your ash you’ll need to give it monthly sprays of herbicide, which can be quite a financial investment. If you’re going for low-maintenance, steer clear of the ash tree.
The Yellow Poplar or Liriodendron Tulipifera
For the first fifty years of a yellow poplar’s life it grows strong and tall with a great canopy over your yard. But as it gets older the yellow poplar can start falling apart. It’s often knocked over during snow storms or high winds. Its roots also cause problems by pushing above ground and causing problems for lawnmowers.
The Bradford Pear or Pyrus Calleryana
While the Bradford pear is beautiful when it blossoms in the spring, you might have a problem with its smell. The blossoms give out an odor that most people compare to rotting fish. On the bright side, the blossoms are only on the tree for a few weeks, but if you’ve got a sensitive nose you might want to stay away from the Bradford pear.
The Black Walnut Juglans Nigra
While people love the black walnut for its nuts and beautiful wood, these trees release a chemical called Juglone which is toxic to some plants and can pull nutrients from others, which makes these trees terrible for any nearby vegetable gardens. And while you might like walnuts, the nuts that fall in autumn can be a huge hassle to gather, and the leaves can kill turf if left in the yard to long.
Ginkgo or Ginkgo Biloba
A female ginkgo tree produces a fruit that some think smells like dog droppings. The fruit then drops to the ground where it gets stepped on, which you then bring into your home. If you still want the beautiful tree in your yard, try to find a male ginkgo tree, this is particularly difficult to do as determining the tree’s gender is hard when they are young.
If you’re going out on a limb and getting a tree for your yard make sure you check for any potential problems that might come up down the line.