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Adding trees to your yard can be a wonderful experience—there’s something special about watching them grow. Yet, it’s important to be mindful about where and what you plant. Sometimes, the wrong tree in the wrong spot does more damage than good.

You might face issues such as fast-growing trees that undermine your property’s integrity, towering evergreens that plunge your home and garden into deep shade, or certain species that prevent anything else from growing around them.

If you’re considering planting new trees, make sure to check out our list of 22 trees you should never grow in your yard!

1. Black Walnut (Juglans nigra)

black walnut green fruit
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Black walnuts are magnificent trees that can be a great addition to a large yard or garden. Unfortunately, they produce a substance called juglone, which is toxic to a vast number of other plant species. To plant this tree, careful planning is required to find plants and trees that will happily grow near it.

15 Plants That Get Along Great with Black Walnuts

2. Mulberry (Morus spp.)

mulberry tree
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Mulberry trees grow rapidly, quickly crowding out the surrounding flora in your yard. They also produce an abundance of messy fruits that stain driveways and cars. Some types of mulberry are classed as invasive in certain states, and attempts are being made to eradicate them.

3. Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum)

Depositphotos 114016780 L silver maple trees e1717070106995
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Silver maples, also known as sugar maples, are fast-growing trees with aggressive root systems that can damage sidewalks, foundations, and septic systems. Additionally, their wood is brittle and prone to breaking during storms, posing a risk to property.

4. Bradford Pear (Pyrus calleryana)

Bradford Pear
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Bradford pear trees are notorious for their unpleasant-smelling fruits – not what you want in your lovely garden or yard! They also have a weak branch structure that splits and breaks during storms.

5. Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima)

tree of heaven
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Despite the celestial name, the Tree of Heaven should definitely be avoided in your backyard! It is highly invasive, producing numerous seeds that spread rapidly, and is difficult to remove once established.

6. Siberian Elm (Ulmus pumila)

Siberian Elm (Ulmus pumila)
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Siberian elm trees are highly invasive, growing quickly and out-competing all other plants in your yard. Reaching heights of up to 60 feet, the weak wood breaks easily and can cause property damage.

7. Norway Maple (Acer platanoides)

Close up of Acer platanoides, Norway maple, with sunlit new leaves on dark background. Image with selective focus and shallow depth of field
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Norway maple trees have dense canopies that block sunlight, inhibiting the growth of other plants beneath them.  These invasive trees were often planted in urban areas but have spread into woodlands, pushing out local tree species.

8. Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus spp.)

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Eucalyptus trees grow incredibly quickly, up to 6-8 feet per year. They are tough to eradicate once established and their highly flammable leaves create a high fire risk.

9. Willow (Salix spp.)

weeping willow
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Willows are beautiful trees that look magnificent in larger gardens and forests. However, they need a lot of water to grow and, if planted near properties, they can damage pipes, septic systems, and foundations.

10. Poplar (Populus spp.)

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Poplar trees will grow up to 8 feet per year, quickly reaching heights of 50-100 feet. Their aggressive root systems can cause significant damage to sidewalks, driveways, and plumbing systems.

11. Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)

Robinia pseudoacacia black locust
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Black locust trees are highly invasive, spreading through root suckers and seeds. Once established they are difficult to remove due to their dense, thorny growth. The bark to humans.

12. Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)

Ginkgo biloba
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If you are planning on growing a ginkgo tree, make sure to plant a male cultivar. Female ginkgo trees produce foul-smelling fruits that create a horrible mess in your yard. Bear in mind that even male ginkgo trees can reach up to 80 feet tall, so this tree needs plenty of room.

13. Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua)

Depositphotos 490338282 L Sweetgum Liquidambar styraciflua e1717070254720
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Sweetgum trees produce an abundance of small spiky seed pods, known as “gumballs,” which litter the ground and can be a nuisance to clean up. The trees also have extensive root systems that can cause damage to sidewalks and driveways.

14. Boxelder (Acer negundo)

Inflorescences of ash-leaved maple (box elder, boxelder maple, Manitoba maple, Acer negundo) - invasive species in Russia and Europe
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Boxelder trees are a fast-growing maple that attracts a huge number of boxelder bugs – a harmless insect that can be a nuisance when it invades homes in large numbers. Boxelders are considered invasive in many states.

15. Cottonwood (Populus deltoides)

tree 3
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There is no doubt that a stand of cottonwoods is a beautiful sight, but this is not a great tree to grow in your yard. They grow rapidly, reaching heights of 70-100 feet, and have extensive root systems that can damage nearby structures. The cotton-like seeds can also create an almighty mess in your yard.

16. Mimosa (Albizia julibrissin)

mimosa tree Albizia julibrissin
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Mimosas are often introduced to yards and gardens as ornamental trees, but they spread rapidly through root sprouts and are considered invasive in many areas.

17. Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)

hackberry tree Celtis occidentalis
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Hackberry trees attract pests like the hackberry psyllid, which creates unsightly leaf galls and can infest homes. The trees also attract woolly aphids that feed on the leaves, dripping sticky honeydew onto the ground below.

18. American Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis)

latanus occidentalis american sycamore
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American sycamores are a large tree that is better suited to forests than yards. They reach heights of 75-100 feet and have extensive root systems that can damage infrastructure. Their large leaves and peeling bark can create an unsightly mess in your yard.

19. Russian Olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia)

russian olive 2
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It is now illegal to grow Russian olive trees in many states, as they are highly invasive and spread quickly from yards and gardens into local woodlands. Their thorny dense growth makes them difficult to control and eradicate.

20. White Pine (Pinus strobus)

Eastern white pine Nana Compacta
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White pine trees grow quickly and can reach 50-80 feet. However, they are not a good option for yards as they create a significant amount of debris and are highly susceptible to pests and diseases.

21. Empress Tree (Paulownia tomentosa)

Paulownia towentosa or empress tree
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Empress trees can grow an astonishing 10-15 feet per year, quickly reaching heights of up to 60 feet. They are highly invasive, with seeds that can travel long distances and establish easily. Once established, empress trees are very difficult to eradicate.

22. Cherry Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus)

Flowering cherry laurel, Prunus laurocerasus, in spring
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Cherry laurels can quickly become invasive, spreading rapidly through seeds and root suckers. The berries and leaves are highly toxic if ingested, posing a risk to pets and children when grown in yards.

12 Plants to Grow Alongside Your Blueberry Bushes to Keep Them Happy

blueberry bushes
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Planting the right companion plants near blueberry bushes can help to ensure successful fruiting. Here are some plants that you should grow alongside blueberry bushes to help them thrive.

12 Plants to Grow Alongside Your Blueberry Bushes to Keep Them Happy

28 Budget-Friendly Front Yard Ideas for Stunning Curb Appeal

oversized planters
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Improving your home’s curb appeal not only presents well but can also boost your home’s value. Here are 28 to give your front yard the attention it deserves and transform it into a beautiful and inviting space you can be proud of.

28 Budget-Friendly Front Yard Ideas for Stunning Curb Appeal

19 Stunning Red Flowers to Add Bold Color to Your Garden

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Adding red flowers to your garden introduces vibrant pops of color, creating a warm and lively atmosphere. Here’s a list of 19 varieties to brighten your garden, bringing in the perfect touch of spring and summer cheer.

19 Stunning Red Flowers to Add Bold Color to Your Garden

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