Trees can be a beautiful and eco-friendly addition to your front yard landscaping, but not every species is well-suited for residential areas. Some trees, in fact, can cause your energy and water usage to skyrocket, or damage other species! Sometimes being environmentally aware means, well, being aware of your environment. Here are 5 trees to never plant in your front yard, no matter how green they are.
Considered an invasive species, Norway Maple trees have a tendency to spread prolifically. Plant one in your yard, and you’ll find yourself continually weeding new saplings out of your landscaping. To make matters worse, you may find that these young plants steal nutrients from other nearby plants. To keep your yard healthy and free of unwanted maple sprouts, steer clear of Norway maples.
The woods are a great place for quaking aspen trees, but they’re much less suitable for small yards. These trees spread quickly from both seeds and suckers. Before you know it, you may find that quaking aspens have taken over your yard and the neighbors’ yards.
In addition, quaking aspens are susceptible to unattractive diseases. Therefore, it’s best to avoid planting this troublesome tree variety in your yard.
Every spring, female cottonwood trees spend two weeks releasing fluffy, cotton-like clusters of seeds. This soft down will quickly cover your yard and pack your gutters. Perhaps even more problematic, it can get into your air conditioning unit and cause mechanical breakdowns. Repairing the damage could cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars, and in the meantime your energy bills and emissions will skyrocket.
Your neighborhood won’t appreciate the addition of a cottonwood tree to your yard either. The white fluff can blow into yards up to 5 miles away.
Like many of the other trees on this list, Russian olive trees spread quickly and aggressively. If you add one of these plants to your yard, you’ll end up cutting down new saplings every year. Russian olive trees can thrive in areas without rich soil or plentiful rainfall, so even if your growing conditions aren’t ideal, new shoots are likely to keep springing up.
The more Russian olive trees that you have in your yard, the more difficult it becomes for other plants to thrive. To maintain diverse landscaping, avoid planting Russian olive trees.
Unless you have a massive front yard, complete with your own private pond, you don’t need a weeping willow tree there. The roots of these trees spread far and can cause damage to your underground pipes. Older pipes made of clay or metal are especially prone to this problem.
In fact, any underground structures within 50 feet of your tree could be damaged by its roots. This includes gas and electrical lines in your yard or your neighbors’ yards.
Fortunately, there are many beautiful trees that will thrive in your front yard. Instead of the above five trees, consider crabapple, red buckeye, crepe myrtle or red oak trees for your residential landscaping.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan