By Jennifer Poindexter
Have you ever wondered what you should consider before planting a tree in your yard, especially near your home?
One thing that should probably cross your mind is the durability of the wood of any tree you choose. Though there are many trees to choose from, there are certainly a few that should be avoided because they’re known for having weak wood.
Yes, weak wood is a thing and some trees suffer from it. Out of fear of the tree tumbling to the ground and harming your house, you’ll want to avoid such trees in the landscaping near your home.
Here is the list of weak wooded trees you should be sure to keep away from your home:
1. Mimosa Tree
Mimosa trees are branching ornamental beauties that produce wispy blooms in a variety of colors. For looks alone, you can understand why people plant them.
This tree is hardy (and most commonly grown) in planting zones six through nine. They reach heights around twenty to thirty feet. However, the mimosa tree has issues with a variety of pests and diseases which can leave the tree in a weakened state.
2. Green Ash
The green ash tree is a large option with a broad canopy. It’s hardy in planting zones three through nine and reaches heights between fifty and sixty feet tall.
Be mindful, though this tree could provide quality shade, it could also be dangerous if planted near your home. This tree suffers from weak wood which could be caused by their inviting nature to pests and fungal issues.
3. Red Maple
Red maple trees get their name honestly. During the fall months, these trees produce vibrant red leaves. This is a hardy option in planting zones three through nine.
Plus, these trees reach heights around forty to sixty feet. On the flipside, red maples are noted as having weak wood due to their plentiful issues with fungal disease. Plant these trees strategically and with caution.
Honeysuckle is a beautiful tree that produces a plethora of blooms which invites a variety of pollinators. This is a hardy tree in planting zones five through nine.
However, honeysuckle trees only reach heights around fifteen feet tall. This is still tall enough to cause damage to your home, so be sure to plant this tree away from it. Though honeysuckle trees invite pollinators, they also welcome a plethora of other pests and diseases which could weaken the tree’s wood over time.
5. Eastern Black Walnut
Eastern black walnut trees are larger shade trees with elongated leaves. Unfortunately, these trees are bad news for a variety of reasons. Though they’re commonly grown in planting zones five through nine and reach heights between fifty and seventy-five feet, they also produce large walnut hulls around their growing area.
Plus, they produce a toxin that stops other plants from growing around the tree. As if this isn’t enough, black walnut trees also struggle with fungal issues which can lead to weak wood.
6. Norway Maple
Norway maple trees are known for their full figure and plentiful leaves which produce a variety of colors during the fall months. These trees are hardy in planting zones four through seven and reach heights around sixty feet tall.
However, the Norway maple tree is also known for growing quickly and has a shallow root system. These two things put together could lead to weak wood. Plus, the dense root system also stops everything from growing beneath the tree including grass.
7. Silver Maple
The silver maple tree is another full figured tree that produces traditional maple leaves which change color in the fall. This tree is hardy in planting zones three through nine and reaches heights around eighty feet tall.
Though you should always be mindful when planting a tree of this size near your home, this one deserves extra caution as it struggles with a variety of fungal issues which attack the roots and trunk causing them to rot. This leads to weak wood and could be quite hazardous if planted near your home.
8. Freeman Maple
The freeman maple is a smaller maple tree that maxes out at sixty feet tall. This tree produces vibrant red leaves during the autumn months and is hardy in planting zones five through eight.
However, like other maple trees, this one struggles with fungal issues which could weaken the wood of the tree over time. Verticillium wilt is one major issue with this variety of tree and there’s no treatment for it at this time.
9. Lombardy Poplar
Lombardy poplar trees are skinny with bright green foliage. They aren’t evergreen trees, but the closeness of the branches still provides some shade during the winter months. These trees are hardy in planting zones three through nine and reach heights around sixty feet.
Unfortunately, the Lombardy poplar trees are prone to weak wood for a variety of reasons. The first being, they grow quickly. These trees can grow as much as six feet each year. They also struggle with pests and bacterial diseases.
10. Sweet Gum
Sweet gum trees are a larger option that reach heights up to seventy-five feet and produce spiky pods that drop beneath them each year. These trees are hardy in planting zones five through nine.
However, be sure to plant sweet gum trees with caution as they’re prone to weak wood. The main struggle that weakens the wood of these trees is fungal disease.
Mulberry trees come in a variety of sizes. White mulberries grow to be as tall as eighty feet, red mulberries are usually seventy feet tall, and black mulberry trees are around thirty feet tall. This is a hardy tree in planting zones five through ten.
However, there are some downsides to growing mulberry trees. First, the mulberries they produce frequently stain wherever they drop. This could include your porch, car, or even your clothing. They’re also prone to rot and wood decay which leads to weak wood.
12. White Birch
White birch trees are hard to miss. They produce long trunks with white bark. The bark gently peels away like paper which creates a unique appearance. These trees are frequently found in planting zones five through seven and reach heights around fifty feet.
However, white birch trees are commonly preyed upon by pests and fungal diseases. This leads to weak wood and makes this tree a detriment if planted too near your home.
13. Russian Olive
The Russian olive tree is unique because of its elongated foliage that’s a lighter green than many traditional trees. This is a hardy plant in zones two through seven, and it frequently reaches heights between ten and twenty feet.
Though this is a smaller tree, you still should be careful planting it close to your home. Russian olive trees frequently battle fungal diseases that cause the tree’s wood to weaken and ultimately die. It has become such a problem in certain parts of the United States that the tree isn’t recommended for landscape use any longer.
14. Box Elder
The box elder tree is known for its irregular shape and for being a fast-growing tree. The problem with the tree growing so quickly is it’s also noted for its weak wood.
These trees are hardy in planting zones two through nine and reach heights ranging from thirty to fifty feet. Be mindful of where you plant this brittle tree to avoid damage to your home.
15. Scotch Pine
A Scotch pine tree makes a great option for a shade tree as it reaches heights around sixty feet and can become as wide as forty feet. Though this plant is hardy in zones two through nine, it may not be the best choice for your landscape.
The reason being, this tree struggles growing in areas with high temperatures and high humidity. This opens the tree up to pests and diseases which ultimately weakens the wood making the tree a hazard to your home.
16. Tree of Heaven
Tree of heaven is a beautiful tree due to its unique, colorful foliage and blooms. This tree is hardy in planting zones four through eight and can grow as tall as eighty feet.
However, be sure to plant this tree with caution. The tree of heaven is known for having weak wood, having a short lifespan, and for becoming invasive.
17. Bradford Pear
Bradford pear trees are gorgeous when they’re in bloom. However, don’t let the blooms fool you as they can become quite fragrant in all the wrong ways.
Aside from the odd smell this tree produces, it’s also known for being weak wooded and messy. If you’re still interested in a Bradford pear tree, they’re hardy in planting zones five through nine and reach heights up to sixty feet.
18. Siberian Elm
Siberian elms are larger trees which reach heights ranging from fifty to seventy feet. These trees are hardy in planting zones three through nine.
Though this might sound like a great fit, Siberian elms should be grown with caution. The tree is known for having weak wood. This equates to a lot of clean up as branches commonly fall from the tree. Also, Siberian elm trees are known for becoming invasive.
19. Honey Locust
The honey locust tree is another option that many people like because of its versatility. This is a hardy tree in planting zones three through nine. It does require a larger growing space as it can become as tall as eighty feet.
However, honey locust trees shouldn’t be planted near your home. This tree is susceptible to a variety of pests and diseases. Therefore, you run the risk of weak wood developing.
20. Weeping Willow
Our last tree to discuss is the weeping willow. Many people avoid this tree as it’s known for being quite messy.
Yet, many people love it because of its beautiful aesthetic. Weeping willows are hardy in planting zones six through eight and reach heights around forty feet. They’re susceptible to a variety of fungal diseases including rot, which leads to weak roots and wood.
You now have twenty different trees you should be careful when deciding where to plant. These trees are all susceptible to developing weak wood.
This issue develops for a variety of reasons including pests, diseases, or even growing too quickly. When designing the landscape around your home, let this list help you decide if the plants you have in mind should have a place in your vision.
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