Time for landscaping? Avoid planting these trees

Kimberly Bean
Published on May 18, 2020

Time for landscaping? Avoid planting these trees

Aside from autumn, early spring—before bud-break—is the ideal time to plant trees. And, if you’re thinking of selling your Southern Maryland home, trees, placed strategically around the home, can help increase the home’s value.

But not all trees are created equal, and there are some trees that should be avoided. Here are a few you should think twice about planting.

Trees with weak wood

Because it grows fast, the Bradford pear tree was the darling of the new home construction industry in the 70s and 80s, making it the most prolific tree in neighborhoods across the country – including here in Southern Maryland.

These trees can grow quite tall and, with age, the wood weakens. “Anything, and anyone, under a Bradford pear is at increased risk as the tree ages and its steep V crotch structure is strained,” writes Donna Isbell Walker at USAToday.com.

Other popular but weak trees include:

  • Balsam Poplar (Populus balsamifera)
  • Box elder (Acer negundo)
  • Cottonwood (Populus deltoides)
  • Empress tree (Paulownia tomentosa)
  • Freeman Maple (Acer x freemanii)
  • Lombardy poplar (Populus nigra‘Italica’)
  • Paper mulberry (Broussonetia papyrifera)
  • Red maple (Acer rubrum)
  • Red mulberry (Morus rubra)
  • Silver maple (Acer saccharinum)
Weedy trees

The Bradford pear has more strikes against it besides weak wood. Not only is it brittle and terribly messy, but it’s weedy as well. If you’ve ever grown one, you know this only too well as you’re continually hacking away at the sprouts around the soil beneath the tree.

The Bradford pear, however, is a novice at the weedy game compared to the Golden Rain tree (Koelreuteria paniculata). Homeowners grow them for the incredible flower show they put on each summer but also have to contend with the seeds that sprout wherever they touch soil.

Other popular tree varieties that seem determined to take over the entire landscape include:

  • Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)
  • Mimosa (Albizia julibrissin)
  • Norway maple (Acer platanoides)
  • Quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides)
  • Siberian elm (Ulmus pumila)
  • White mulberry (Morus alba)
Trees with invasive roots

Ever trip over a lifted sidewalk? Most likely, it lifted because of the roots of a nearby tree. Shallow roots damage driveways and foundations and, in the case of the silver maple especially, invade pipes and sewers.

  • Autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellate)
  • Black locust (Robinia psuedoacacia)
  • Mimosa (Albizia julibrissin)
  • Poplars (Populus)
  • Russian olive (Elaeaganus angustifolia)
  • Silver maple (Acer saccharinum)
  • White mulberry (Morus alba)
So, which trees are best for the home landscape?

Picking trees for your Southern Maryland home’s landscape involves more than finding varieties that you like the look of. The tree must be hardy to your growing zone, and you need the right location – one that gives the tree the right growing conditions – in your yard.

Then, you’ll need to decide if you want an evergreen tree (one that keeps its foliage all year) or a deciduous tree (one that loses its leaves in winter). Do you want a tree that stays small or medium, or do you want a huge tree?

Research your choices online, and then visit a Southern Maryland nursery and speak with the experts there. Nobody knows local growing conditions better than these pros, so you can feel confident in the advice they give.

Leonardtown MD Homes for Sale and Real Estate Services in Southern Maryland. You now have a search engine to help you with your Southern Maryland home search! And I’m ready to provide you with a custom home valuation if you’re considering selling your home. Let’s connect to discuss how I can help you. Contact Kimberly Bean at 301-440-1309

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