July 1, 2014

There are numerous lists of best or favorite trees to plants so we decided to provide a list of trees not to plant.  Please keep in mind, all trees have value in the correct location.  This list is based on this area and your community.

Silver Maple Leaves  Against Black BackgroundSilver maple (Acer saccharinum)

Big, fast-growing, and a dandy of a shade tree.  Unfortunately, the speed at which the tree grows makes for weak, brittle wood that may break during severe storms.  The shallow root system invades sewage pipes and drain fields, and is notorious for cracking driveways and walkways.


Ash Tree

Ash (Fraxinus)

Sturdy and tough, and a beloved tree.  But the venerable ash is threatened by the emerald ash borer, a tiny beetle that’s on track to wipe out the species. If you’re looking for along-term tree for your yard, look elsewhere.



Winter Poplar


Poplar and Aspen (Populus)

Fast growing trees that look good in your yard for a short time.  The root system is insidious,sending up dozens of suckers that relentlessly try to turn into new trees. They are especially susceptible to diseases, and most won’t last more than 15 years.


3d green tree weeping willow isolateWillow (Salix)

With its long, slender branches that hang down, the willow is one of the most recognizable of all trees. Beautiful on the outside, yes, but the willow has an aggressive, water-hungry root system that terrorizes drain fields, sewer lines, and irrigation pipes. The wood is weak and prone to cracking, and the tree is relatively short-lived, lasting only about 30 years.


flowering bradford pear tree

Bradford pear (Pyrus calleryana)

With its compact shape and profusion of spring blossoms, the Bradford pear became a suburban favorite — until folks realized that it was highly prone to splitting and cracking when it reached maturity. And those blossoms? They’re on the stinky side of the fragrance scale.  There are newer varieties that supposedly have better branching patterns and may be less prone to splitting and cracking but my experience is limited on mature trees.


isolated mulberry tree on a white background

Mulberry (Morus)

Big surface roots, lots of pollen, messy fruit, and shade so dense that grass refuses to grow underneath.  The mulberry is the silkworm’s only source of food.


Black walnut in treeBlack walnut (Juglans nigra)

It produces pollen and plenty of fruit that’ll drive you, well, nuts when you have to clean it all up in the fall. It’s true sinister side, however, is that it secretes growth-inhibiting toxins that kill nearby plants, wreaking havoc on flower beds and vegetable gardens.