In a rush to fill the emptiness of a bare yard and provide their homes with shade to protect against the summer sun, many homeowners plant trees without first doing some research to find out what they’re getting into. Different species of trees have very distinct characteristics and require varying levels of maintenance. Here are some of the trees that have the potential to do more harm than good in your yard:
- Black walnut. Black walnut trees produce a toxic chemical that causes many plants growing under them to wither and die. While beneficial to wildlife, black walnut trees are messy due to their large leaves and falling nuts.
- Cottonwood. Cottonwood trees grow rapidly but only live an average of 30 years. Their brittle branches shed a lot and are very susceptible to storm damage. The cottonwood’s invasive root system has been known to crack sidewalks and foundations, and the large amount of cottony seeds released by the trees are unsightly and can clog mesh gutter covers and other types of filters.
- Maple. North America is home to around 150 varieties of maple trees, which are famous for their breathtaking fall foliage. However, the fruit of the maple takes the form of very mobile “helicopters,” “whirlybirds” or “spinners” that are known to fill gutters as far as a mile away from the tree.
- Mountain cedar. This native of the south-central U.S. releases massive amounts of pollen throughout the winter months, causing severe hay fever in many people. Even if you’re not allergic, your neighbors might be. Cedars also contain highly flammable resin, which can be a fire hazard.
- Mulberry. Certain varieties of mulberry trees produce a small, dark fruit that can stain decks and walkways.