I have spent the last two months cleaning debris from my mimosa tree off of my front patio, porch and even my entryway. I love the tree in the summer when it is covered in blooms and hummingbirds are flocking to its sweet nectar, but I have to admit that I curse at it a bit the rest of the year. Why anyone would plant such a messy tree right next to the house is way beyond my understanding.
As I think about it though, I realize that placement is not the only – or even the worst – mistake that people make when planting trees. Sometimes the worst tree planting error people make is choosing the wrong tree for the situation. Some trees simply aren’t good choices for urban landscapes. As they mature, they can create a multitude of annoying, or even expensive, problems.
If you’re considering adding a tree or two to your landscape this fall, take a few minutes to do some research before you make your final choices. See if the ones you are considering fall into any of these five categories that might cause you problems in the years to come.
FIVE REASONS NOT TO PLANT A TREE
- It is messy. Seed pods, berries or even mature fruit can make an unsightly mess in the yard. If squished berries on the sidewalk will bother you, then another variety would be better.
AVOID: Sweetgum, Mimosa, Crabapple
- Their roots seek water. Water lines, septic tanks and even in-ground swimming pools can be damaged by invading roots. Make sure to plant water seeking trees so their driplines are at least 35 feet away from water sources.
AVOID: Willow, Aspen, Birch
- It is brittle. Some trees have a tendency to break apart under the stress of windy or icy conditions. Often, trees that are known as “fast growing” varieties are the ones that are easily damaged in harsh conditions.
AVOID: Silver Maple, Poplar, Ash
- It is invasive. Some introduced species become so entrenched that they overtake and displace the native species that wildlife depend on.
AVOID: Bradford Pear, Tree of Heaven
- It is a heavy pollen producer. For people with allergies, the pollen produced by certain male trees can chase them indoors for the entire spring season.
AVOID: Birch, Elm, Oak, Some Evergreens
I think that I have finally cleaned up this year’s mess from my mimosa tree, and like years past, I’m not really going to carry through on my threat to have the d**** thing cut down. I still wish though, that just a little more thought, or perhaps knowledge, had gone into its original placement. If you’re considering adding a tree or two to your landscape this fall, take a few minutes to do some research before you make your final choices. It could make a world of difference down the road.