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Trees Not wanted in Your Yard

By David Wall, Mount Pleasant Master Gardener

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Advice on what NOT to plant in your yard!

  1. Silver maple. Fast growing shade tree, with weak wood prone to breaking in wind. Roots love sewage pipes. Well known for cracking driveways & sidewalks.
  2. Ash trees. Sturdy, tough, well-liked tree, and property value increaser.. Unfortunately, the Emerald ash borer is on track to eliminate the species.
  3. Quaking Aspen. Not much of a problem in our area, but give it an inch, and it’ll take a mile. Can be hideously invasive. Largest living organism is an aspen root system in Utah weighing 6,600 tons and thought to be 60-80,000 years old.
  4. Lombardy poplar. Fast growing & columnar shape. Susceptible to numerous diseases and insects. Roots are invasive and difficult to stop.
  5. Willow. Beautiful tree with serious water needs including sewage and irrigation lines. Wood is weak and tree has a short life, usually around 30 years. Tree has more than its share of disease & insect problems.
  6. Bradford Pear. A suburban favorite, but has very short life span, and limbs a subject to breaking off. Flowers look nice, but not odorous as opposed to aromatic!
  7. Mountain cedar. Unbelievable amount of pollen releaser can cause serious allergy problems. On a calm morning, I’ve seen a literal yellow circle of pollen around these trees in late spring and early summer.
  8. Mulberry. If growing silkworms, this is a great tree. Otherwise, pollen messy fruit and shade so dense grass won’t grow beneath it, make it much less desirable.
  9. Black walnut. Fruits are messy and hard on lawn mowers. Secretes toxins to prevent most anything growing beneath or immediately nearby.
  10. Leland Cypress. Great for privacy fence, but is a serious fire hazard. High maintenance required, and when taller, susceptible to falling over in high winds.
Texas Bur Oak
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Author: Ethan Klein

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