trees you shouldn't grow

Whether you’re moving into your first house with a yard or redesigning one you’ve lived in for a while, planning what plants your living space will include is one of the most exciting things for people with green thumbs. Especially for those who have a history of gardening, mapping out your lawn for bushes and flowers can be what you look forward to doing in your free time.

However, if you know you want to plant trees in your yard in the near future, there is a little more research required before you get the shovel out. Trees can present individual challenges you may not be aware of when you buy them, so make sure you know what trees shouldn’t grow in your yard before you start throwing your money at the nearest plant shop.

Cottonwood Tree

This tree requires low maintenance and has great aesthetic appeal because of its height and bushy top, but it has a shallow root system, which isn’t great if you live where there are frequent storms. As if the safety concern isn’t enough, its wood is also prone to rotting.

Mimosa Tree

Fern-like leaves and fuzzy, pink blossoms make this tree one people admire in public parks and want to put in their backyards. However, the mimosa tree seedpods are highly poisonous, and the tree grows fast, so any seeds that fall off will quickly take root and grow into new trees. You’ll spend a lot of time weeding and uprooting mimosa seedlings.

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Norway Maple Tree

Known for its thick trunk and trunk-like branches, the Norway maple has a timeless look. That’s also why it shouldn’t be planted in a backyard. Its branches are wide and bushy, so it will block other plants from sunlight and suck all nutrients out of the soil before any other plant can get them. It’s not a very friendly tree.

Weeping Willow Tree

The weeping willow has a beautiful, iconic shape that’s often tied in with the idea of romance. However, something that’s not very romantic is the way it needs consistently damp soil. If you live where there’s a lot of rainy weather, this tree could be perfect for your yard, but if you live outside of places like Seattle, it will use up all the water in the soil before other plants, so it’ll kill anything planted near it.

Lombardy Poplar Tree

For centuries, people have been growing the Lombardy poplar because its cone shape adds an artistic flare wherever it’s planted, and it can grow up to six feet each year. Before you add it to your backyard collection of artsy plants, read up on how it gets easily infested by bugs and quickly grows invasive roots. Don’t plant this tree unless you’re well versed in insect treatment and root removal.

Eucalyptus Tree

The eucalyptus tree originated in Australia and was shipped all over the world because of its long reaching branches and paper bark. It has a unique look but also has its problems. The long, heavy branches are filled with resin and drop unexpectedly. The bark also peels all year round, so yard maintenance will be constant.

Bradford Pear Tree

It can be thrilling to grow fruit on trees in your backyard because harvesting can be so much fun. Still, not every tree that grows fruit should be close to your house. The Bradford pear is famous for cracking down the middle once the tree has matured, and it doesn’t actually grow any fruit. The blossoms also reek, so you won’t be able to open your window and enjoy the spring air.


Before you start planting trees around your yard this summer, make sure what you’ve chosen isn’t going to hurt your other plants or anyone who lives nearby. Some trees are beautiful but not worth growing. Know your own gardening limits and the downsides to any tree before you go out and buy them. You’ll thank yourself later.