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6 Trees Not to Plant in Your Yard

Nothing completes the aesthetic of your splendid yard like a beautiful and majestic tree. In fact, planting a tree can increase your home value, hold the soil in place, provide outdoor shad, and create natural housing for woodland creatures.

Whether you are looking to spruce up a bare area of your yard or are ready to create your dream landscape, at Mr. Tree Services, we can help you choose and maintain the perfect trees.

6 Trees Not to Plant in Your Yard From A Residential Tree Service

Among our many options for residential tree service, we can warn against which trees you should avoid. After all, bringing the wrong species of tree onto your property can result in significant and ongoing maintenance issues.

Below we have listed six types of trees that, though beautiful and able to flourish in wild areas, are not recommended to be planted in a residential space due to their intrusive and hazardous natures.

Bradford Pear

The Bradford pear tree grows too tall heights very rapidly, offering a decent amount of shade in a short span of time. For this reason, many homeowners consider the Bradford pear to be an optimal addition to their backyards. However, quick growth makes this tree a hazard during windy and stormy conditions because it causes the tree to grow weak branches that can easily snap, causing debris and even damage.

Bradford pear trees often possess poor structure since many of their branches are fragile or grow at narrow angles. Frequent pruning is required to prevent the branches from splitting as the tree matures.

Additionally, the beautiful white flowers that adorn this tree are actually quite stinky. If you are looking for a tree whose pleasant fragrance you can enjoy on warm evenings, this is another reason we recommend you avoid the Bradford pear.

Female Ginkgo

Ginkgo trees have a well-earned reputation for their historic and aesthetic nature. That being said, beware of bringing the female variety into your yard. The fruit of the female ginkgo tree places her in the category of “trash tree” when it comes to a residential plantation. These fruits are very smelly and messy and will fall all over your yard, driveway, or patio; sometimes from a height of 80 feet!

If, however, you adore ginkgo trees and want to incorporate them into your landscape, we have good news! The male ginkgo tree is free of the smelly fruit produced by its female counterpart and is, therefore, a much more friendly option to add your property.


Native to Asia, the mimosa has come to be known as the “silk tree” due to its frilly leaves and striking pink flowers. This delicate-looking tree draws a number of woodland creatures with its alluring scent, and while it may seem like the ideal tree for your pristine yard, there are several drawbacks you should consider.

“Silk tree” is a fitting name for the mimosa because its weak wood gives it a very fragile nature that struggles to withstand the winds and rains of Portland.

Even more importantly, if you have pets or small children, beware of the toxic seed pods that fall from the tree, as they could end up inside curious, hungry mouths.

The mimosa tree also has a tendency to spill its flowers and leaves in a very wide radius; right into the yards of your neighbors, for example.

Siberian Elm

Elm trees are often problematic when introduced by a residential tree service. For one thing, the seeds have a high germination rate, allowing this tree species to spread aggressively outside of its designated planting site.

Siberian elms tend to have a weak, brittle wood that makes them highly susceptible to storms and ice damage. And, they are often infested with pests such as the elm leaf beetle. This is a highly invasive beetle species that deteriorates the appearance of the tree and further weakens its structure by causing cankers and leaf spots. Over time, Siberian elms can begin to look very unattractive, potentially reducing the quality of your property.

Silver Maple

The silver maple grows quickly to become a full-fledged tree, but it is a problematic hardwood species that should not be planted in urban or suburban areas. Why is this? The silver maple’s shallow root system stretches far and wide to seek out moist environments and it can wreak havoc on your sewage and drainage systems, as well as tear up any driveways or sidewalks in the vicinity.

The same speed of growth that makes silver maples seem like an ideal tree to plant in your yard is the cause of its weak wood. During storms with high winds, the bark and branches of silver maple trees can easily break apart.


Despite their elegant structure and attractive appearance, sycamores are not ideal for city use either. This is usually due to size, as the trees can grow to magnificent heights that cause them to become a danger to their surroundings.

Due to their susceptibility to pests and fungi, sycamores are also at a high risk of becoming diseased and weakened, and you don’t want a tree of that height toppling over onto your roof or vehicle.

Because of their impressive and perilous height, the removal of diseased or overgrown sycamore trees from their planting site should be handled by professional contractors to ensure they don’t result in expensive property damage.

While the above are not ideal backyard trees, don’t let this list dampen your enthusiasm for planting a tree on your property. There are many wonderful trees that can beautify and improve your yard. Cedar, dogwood, holly, and apple trees — to name just a few — can provide aesthetic and functional benefits.

If you are ready to transform your outdoor space by investing in a tree or two, our professional arborists specialize in residential tree service and are happy to offer suggestions based on the desired location and quality of your planting site. We look forward to helping you choose a residentially friendly tree species that will thrive on your property for years to come!