3 Trees To Avoid Planting In Your Yard And Landscape – And Why!

Today’s This Is My Garden article takes a look a close look at 3 tree varieties, that although still quite popular among homeowners, should avoid being planted for the long-term damage, headaches, and issues they cause.

Nothing adds lasting beauty, protective shade and life to a landscape like trees do. But one thing is for sure – not all trees are the same!

trees to avoid
The cottonwood’s fast growth might provide quick shade, but as you will see below, that causes problems too!

And when you consider that most trees outlast a human’s lifespan, picking the wrong one for your home can be a real issue. With that in mind, here are 3 tree varieties to avoid planting in your landscape at all costs:

3 Trees To Avoid Planting

#1 Silver Maple

Unfortunately, as beautiful as a silver maple tree can be, it can cause serious long-term issues for homeowners.

For years, the silver maple was a top choice for planting in backyards across America. And it is easy to see why it became so popular. It grows fast, and provides a fair amount of shade in short fashion.

trees you should never plant - silver maple
The silver maple grows fast, but it roots grow even faster, and that can cause serious headaches for homeowners.

But that is about where the positives end! Below the surface, the silver maple creates major headaches for homeowners. It’s root grow far and wide in search of food and water, and are extremely aggressive and strong.

Strong enough to break up concrete sidewalks, septic tanks and systems, and even foundations. In addition, the roots tend to grow above the surface, making mowing and maintenance difficult as well.

#2 Bradford Pear Tree – Another Common Tree To Avoid Planting

Much like the silver maple, the Bradford pear tree became extremely popular over the last 30 years.

It is a fast grower, and for many homeowners, it provides quick shade. It also provides beautiful blooms and early spring foliage as well.

trees to avoid - Bradford Pear
The Bradford pear tree provides beautiful blooms in the spring. But the trees are weak and topple easily in storms.

But the biggest issue with a Bradford pear tree is that it grows a little too fast. So fast that it’s trunk and branches do not have time to develop strength.

The result is a weak tree that becomes easy pray to wind and storms. Not only does it result in constantly falling branches and limbs, it also usually ends with the tree eventually splitting, or falling over completely.

#3 Cottonwood Tree

The Cottonwood tree is certainly an impressive tree when it comes to massive growth. Not only can it grow nearly 3 feet per year, it can reach staggering heights of 100′ or more.

But the plus side of the column ends there, and it is certainly a tree to avoid planting in a backyard! The fast and massive growth simply does not work well in most backyards. Within 10 to 15 years, they can take over a smaller yard with shade, snuffing out many other sun-loving plants.

cottonwood fluff
The seed fluff of a cottonwood can clog drains, gutters, and cover lawns. It is also a major allergen for many.

Cottonwood trees are also highly susceptible to disease and pests. Aphids and beetles love them, and the trees attract these pests and more to backyards when planted.

And finally, another big drawback to the cottonwood tree is the incredible amount of “fluff” it produces early each summer. Not only will it clog gutters and drains, it is also a massive problem for many allergy sufferers.

So there you have it – 3 trees to avoid planting in your landscape! For more info on planting trees in your landscape, be sure to check out our Shrub / Tree section on the blog.

And if you are looking to add fruit trees, check out: 3 Great Apple Tree Varieties To Plant In Your Backyard.

This Is My Garden is a garden website created by gardeners, publishing two articles every week, 52 weeks a year. This article may contain affiliate links.

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