In our last blog, we discussed our local arborist and tree care services. We specifically looked at some tips for tree planting and how to care for your new trees. To build on this foundation and expand your total lawn care understanding, we at TLC Nursery & Outdoor Living thought it might be helpful to take a closer look at one fundamental component of tree care: the trees you choose to plant!

Selecting the right tree for your lawn is a task that should not be taken lightly—after all, it could be in your yard for decades to come. In our previous article, we touched on this subject and even provided a link to a handy tool created by the Arbor Day Foundation called the Tree Wizard. This allows users to find out which trees are suitable for them and their climate. If, however, you would like to receive expert tree recommendations in person, pay TLC Nursery & Outdoor Living a visit. We can help find the perfect tree for you. We are the only garden center in the Independence area offering a 5-year plant warranty on all our trees and shrubs.

Read on to learn about some of the trees you should avoid planting near your home.


Silver Maple

Loved for being a big, fast-growing, shade tree, the silver maple is a common sight here in Independence, Kansas, as well as throughout the rest of the Midwest. And though these big trees seem rather innocuous, they can be problematic when placed in close proximity to a home. Because they grow so quickly, the wood is often weak and brittle, making them extremely susceptible to being uprooted or damaged by severe storms.

Black Walnut

Often grown for their shade and edible nuts, black walnuts can seem rather harmless. However, looks can be deceiving, and if you’re wondering why your neighboring fruit trees or garden vegetables are dying, look no further than your black walnut tree. This is because the buds, roots, and nut hulls release juglone, a chemical that robs plants of needed energy. Plants and trees affected by black walnuts may include tomatoes, peppers, asparagus, apple, pear, and pine trees. If you’re considering adding a black walnut tree to your life, go the safe route and opt for some nice walnut cabinets.

Mimosa Tree

Offering a surprisingly hardy durability, mimosa trees are becoming increasingly more common in the state of Kansas. Their bright colors can add a tropical feel to any backyard, and their nectar-rich flowers attract hummingbirds and other beneficial insects. The negatives to having this tree are that it may not survive all of the Kansas winters and if it does it will certainly add to your lawn care clean up. Mimosa trees are known for their prolific seeds that will not only cover your lawn but also your neighbors. However, for some, the beauty of this plant may outweigh the negatives.

Eucalyptus Tree

Imported from Australia and introduced to California during the Gold Rush, Eucalyptus trees can now be found in various parts of the U.S., and even here in Kansas. However, before you seek out this Koala favorite for your Southeast Kansas yard, remember that in some parts of the country consider eucalyptus to be an invasive species. Additionally, because they are extremely fast-growing trees—some can grow as much as 10 feet in one year—they are known for dropping big, heavy branches, so much so that campers in Australia know to never pitch a tent under one of these Australian staples.

Bradford Pear

In the early 20th century, Bradford pear trees were brought to the U.S. from China in the hopes of filling out orchards. Because of their beautiful spring blossoms and compact size, they quickly became a community favorite—that is, however, until people realized just how fragile they can be. Not only are these trees prone to leaf scorch and fire blight, but it is also common for them to split and crack when a storm passes through, especially once maturity is reached.

Ginko Tree

Popular for their durability and widespread appeal—they can be found on five continents—the slow-growing gingko tree is a popular residential tree. For three out of the four seasons, it can be a pleasant tree. In the fall, however, the female trees produce a “fruit” that has a smell that is anything but fruity. On top of this, the fruit is small and hard to rake up, and when you do, the fruit often sticks to shoes, catching a ride straight into your home. Though the female trees are the only ones that produce this fruit, there is no way to distinguish between male and female seedlings, making this one tree your yard can go without. If you are set on getting a ginkgo tree, consider seeking out a stink-free variety, like the Autumn Gold or Lakeview.

Russian Olive

Often planted to serve as a screen or hedge, this small, light-colored tree can seem harmless. However, it is notoriously known for crowding out native plants, which has earned it an invasive species classification. To make matters worse, if you decide that you no longer want your Russian olive tree and you cut it down, it will likely come right back up. Strong herbicides are required to forever thwart the growth of this obnoxious species.

Sweetgum Tree

While it can be a beautiful sight in the fall and provide excellent shade in the summer, the American sweetgum tree can be a pain in the neck—or better yet, a pain in the foot. This is primarily because of the thousands of spiky brown “gumballs” that fall to the ground throughout the year. These spiky pods are known to roll ankles when stepped on, injure your pet’s paws, and become a hazardous projectile when shot out of a lawnmower. Raking up these spiny brown balls can be a difficult task, and often picking them up by hand can be the most efficient way to rid your yard of these prickly mines.

Quaking Aspen

This white-barked tree can be quite attractive, especially on a breezy day when its leaves are gently vibrating. But go beyond the surface and you’ll find one of the most devious root systems alive. Once established, the root system will persistently send up dozens of suckers that try to turn into new trees. To get an idea of just how pervasive and relentless the aspen trees can be, consider the fact that one of the largest living organism in the world is a Colorado aspen root system called Pando.

Willow Tree

Perhaps the most distinctively recognizable tree in America, weeping willows can be quite stunning. But despite this fact, many people, even certified arborist, give conflicting advice on whether or not to plant one near your home. The main argument against these unique trees is that they have an aggressive, water-hungry root system that can wreak havoc on your sewer lines and pipes. However, with advancements in piping and plumbing technology, this is becoming less of a concern. Another common complaint about willow trees is that though they grow fast, they are susceptible to a number of diseases and are short-lived—you might only get 20 to 30 years out of your tree. If you’re okay with these risks and decide to plan a willow tree, we recommend planting it at least 50 feet away from any underground pipes or lines

If you need help picking out the right tree for you and your lawn, don’t hesitate to contact us. In addition to having a garden center, we also offer weed control, irrigations services, landscaping, lawn maintenance, and certified arborist services. Come check out why we are Independence’s Top Rated Local Lawn Care Center!