One way to think of a ‘Zen Garden’ is this: It is a total state of focusing on trees and plants that incorporates a total togetherness of likeness. Zen is actually a way of being in symbiosis!
So, if you are keen on gardening, you should certainly know that some trees and shrubs are better than others and there are several important aspects you must consider before planting them in your yard.
Choosing the right trees to plant in your garden or orchard is not difficult at all – it just takes some time and a bit of a research. When planting, many garden-owners only take into account a tree’s ability to provide deep leafy shade and coolness in the hot summers.
However, there are other essential points to think about. Some trees have strong roots that travel very deep in the ground, and that can slowly damage the concrete foundation of your house over time. Secondly, there are trees that can grow sky-tall and pose a risk at some point in the future. Lastly, there are weak woods [or trees known to attract various pests and diseases].
Below we help you find out about 22 trees, which are considered the worst to plant. They are trees known for their rather undesirable qualities, so you should steer away from them.
1. Bradford pear
Most homeowners and professional gardeners see the Bradford pear tree as an exotic one for a good reason, given the fact that it was imported over a century ago.
The Bradford pear had quickly become very popular with folks in the United States. It is a very durable tree and requires little- to-no maintenance. The tree was particularly popular in the 1960s, but it was primarily planted in urban settings to decorate residential developments.
The reason why you should never plant the Bradford Pear tree is this: The characteristic pyramidal shape of the tree makes it very fragile. Indeed, its branches tend to break in stormy weather or when strong winds blow – just like the cottonwood.
You might be tempted to think that regular pruning may solve the problem, yet it does not. Apart from the branches, the tree is also known for its white flowers that release a very obnoxious pungent odor.
One of the trees you should not plant in your backyard is certainly the cottonwood. It is preferred over other various plants, given its aesthetic appearance and its low maintenance needs. However, the cottonwood has a very shallow and soft root system which makes its core prone to rotting and fairly brittle during severe storms.
It can also be damaged by bugs and diseases, which makes it even more exposed to the elements. And the last thing you want to experience is a cottonwood tree falling on your roof, garage or fancy car, after a finished storm!
3. Mimosa Tree
The mimosa tree is also ill-famed for its extremely-frail wood that does not make it a particularly reliable tree for homeowners. This tree attracts webworms, and besides the fact that it is a soft plant with branches prone to breakage, the mimosa is also known to produce large seeds that sprout very quickly. To be more specific, you will have a whole “jungle” of mimosa trees before you even know it if you are not careful with the seeds!
4. Mulberry Tree
The Mulberry tree is radically different from the trees known for their soft wood and weak root system. The reason to avoid planting this berry tree, however, is that it produces impressive amounts of pollen. In turn, pollen attracts “armies” of insects – silkworms being the most invasive ones. The Mulberry tree is one of the best choices if you want extra shade during the summer, but, at the same time, think about all the insects that will be roaming freely around you when sitting beneath its crown!
5. Chinese Tallow
It’s commonly known as the Popcorn tree, given the appearance of its flowers. The Chinese Tallow is famous for its broad leaves that provide cool shade, as well as for its bright colors during the fall. However, the Chinese Tallow ranks as one of the most invasive species of trees you can ever plant in your backyard! And given the fact it can reach up to 30 feet in width and 40 feet in height, just think about how massive the roots of this tree will grow in a few decades!
6. Norway Maple
As the name tells you, the Norway Maple is not indigenous to the U.S., but it is actually one of the most versatile varieties of maple, as it can adapt easily. It is known to offer great shade, but it notoriously kills any other plant or shrub that tries to grow around it.
So, not only its dense shade prevents other plants from getting the sunlight they desperately need, but the fibrous roots of the Norway Maple are quite greedy and hostile to other plants, as they tend to absorb all the nutrients from the soil before any other plant gets the chance to do it.
The strong peppermint-like scent of this tree appeals to most people. The Eucalyptus extract is used in a variety of ointments and treatments nowadays. However, if you have decided to plant it anywhere near your home, you might need to give it a second thought. The Eucalyptus tree is known to be one of the fastest growing plants in the world! Besides this, it does require devoted maintenance!
8. Quaking Aspen
The quaking aspen is one of the most durable and versatile trees you can go for. As with many trees, the problem is the tree’s root system. This tree can turn out to be very hungry for nutrients – so hungry that it can end up weighing tons! So, imagine having to care for such a tree in your own backyard!
9. Golden Weeping Willow
This tree stands out through its very long and slender branches that make it look as if it is crying (accordingly, the name of the tree). As beautiful and appealing as the weeping willow might look at first sight, its roots are ready to dry out all the water from the soil. This is particularly dangerous if you plan to grow anything else aside from the willow, nearby. You should also know that the average height of the weeping willow typically ranges between 75, and as much as 100 feet!
10. Linden (Tillia)
It’s a high-growing deciduous tree reaching a height of about 60 feet. It attracts aphids, and the sap from the tree gets all over cars and driveways, making for a sticky mess.
11. Empress Tree
As majestic as the tree name may sound, the Empress Tree (also known as the Royal Empress Tree) is, in fact, a plant native to China and it stands out from the rest of the trees through its fragrant flowers. Though this tree grows to a reasonable height and it rarely exceeds 30 feet tall, it is rather weak and does not cope well with stormy weather conditions. So, think twice before planting it, especially if you live in an area where the climate is difficult to predict.
12. Lombardy Poplar
It used to be a popular and favorite tree to plant due its distinctive columnar shape and speedy growth. Yet, it has fallen out of its favor. It has lots of bugs and diseases that make it look ugly, and its root system is difficult to control and eradicate too.
Sweet as it may sound, the sweetgum tree has ridiculously-large surface roots. So, the root system can and will take its toll, not only on your home’s foundation, but also on your lawn, pool, patio and any other structure it comes across. Besides, it produces awkward fruits that are quite difficult to remove from the ground.
14. Ginkgo Biloba – The Female Tree
The Ginkgo Biloba tree is one of the most used trees in the traditional Chinese medicine. It is known for its therapeutic properties – however, this does not mean that you should start planting it in your backyard!
In fact, these voluptuous trees can grow to as much as 80 feet in height! Another problem is the Ginkgo Biloba fruit. They tend to be very messy once they fall on the ground, driveway or patio. Nonetheless, it needs to be mentioned that this only seems to happen with the female Ginkgo Biloba tree. The male tree is OK, and can be nicely grown in your backyard.
15. Russian Olive
The Russian Olive is a tree with a very distinctive look. It also lists as one of the most invasive species you can possibly find out there. It crowds out other surrounding plants, stealing all their water stocks and nourishing.
16. Black Walnut
We think that the Black Walnut is yet another tree you should not plant in your backyard. Mainly, because it produces dangerous toxins that kill any other vegetable, flower or landscaping plant nearby. Besides, similarly to the female Ginkgo Biloba tree, the Black Walnut tree’s fruits are also very difficult to clean up, once fall on the ground.
17. White Pine
The white pine does not reach staggering heights like other trees, but the problem is that this tree is actually extremely sensitive and requires a lot of care in the long run. It is not a great choice for cold climates, as it can quickly suffer injuries due to the winter burn or ice damage. The white pine is also known to attract all sorts of pests, ranging all the way from the sapsuckers to bagworms. So, before planting it, you should ask yourself whether this tree is truly worth your while!
18. White Birch
You can find numerous different types of birch, and they certainly add a ‘luxurious touch’ to your backyard lot. Yet, the problem with the white birch is that it cannot thrive in hot and dry climates, and it is also prone to a notorious tree killer, known as the bronze birch borer. Plus, the white birch has a very shallow root system that makes it rather unstable and dangerous to grow in the vicinity of your home.
The ash tree is known to be one of the sturdiest and most durable trees you can opt for. The problem appears when it comes under attack of an emerald ash borer [the ash tree’s biggest enemy]. Believe it or not, this sturdy big tree can be easily destroyed by this small beetle!
20. Leyland Cypress
A very special type of tree, the Leyland Cypress grows very fast, and it does not require too much maintenance either. It is safe to say that the Leyland Cypress is a fairly hassle-free plant for any backyard.
Nonetheless, these types of trees often get uprooted during storms, severe winds or blizzards, even if they are aged tens of years. This drawback certainly makes them dangerous to grow around houses and structures.
21. Silver Maple
It is easily seen that the Silver Maple is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and majestic trees out there. And not only does it offer great shade by growing quickly, but it is also a very easy tree to trim and prune. Again, the problem with this tree too is that it has brittle and rather weak wood, in spite of its strong root system that can often inflict damage on walkways or driveways.
The silver maple is one of the most popular types of trees, as it has been planted all across the United States, primarily in urban areas. Its virtues are: inexpensive, easy to establish, and low-maintenance grade.
But you must also know that this tree’s roots have become its worst enemy. The largest Silver Maple in the U.S. measures more than 110 feet in height, and it has a circumference of over 340 inches. So, do you really want one of these “giants” around your house?
22. Honey Locust
The last one is another tree that you should really stay away from – the Honey Locust. This deciduous tree with an average height of about 70 feet possesses a very distinctive leaf structure. However, the biggest problem with this tree is that it is often attacked by the honey locust bugs in late spring.
Fortunately, there are so many better alternatives to this bad company of 22 trees!