Five High-Maintenance Shade Trees To Avoid

The benefits of shade trees are legion. They increase your property value, reduce heating and cooling costs and improve your home's curb appeal. But some trees require a significant amount of extra labor to keep them healthy and looking their best. Such trees often cause stress and frustration for homeowners, significantly offsetting their value.  

When planning to install new trees on your property, be sure to consider the maintenance your new trees will need, and avoid the following five high-maintenance species, unless you are prepared to put in the necessary time and effort.

1. Sweetgum Trees (Liquidambar styraciflua)

Sweetgum trees are large, stately trees that bear some of the best fall color among North American natives. However, they tend to drop significant amounts of their dry fruit (colloquially called sweetgum balls) all over your property. Fortunately, growers have produced fruitless sweetgum trees, which do not cause the same headaches.

2. River Birch Trees (Betula nigra)

Prized for their attractive, peeling bark, river birch trees often become a visual focal point anywhere they are planted. However, this bark eventually falls off the tree in tiny, paper-like pieces, which can coat the area around the tree. These small pieces are difficult to rake up, and even the gentlest breezes can send them floating around your entire yard.

3. Loblolly Pine Trees (Pinus taeda)

While all pine trees produce and eventually drop pinecones, these seed-bearing structures vary greatly from one species to the next. Loblolly pines, which are otherwise desirable for their hardy nature and rapid growth rate, produce pinecones with extremely sharp and stout prickles. You will only need to step on a loblolly pinecone once to begin contemplating removing the tree and replacing it with something else.  

4. Crepe Myrtle Trees (Lagerstroemia spp.)

Crepe myrtles are medium-sized trees, but they are often kept artificially small via very aggressive yearly pruning. While the trees do not require this type of pruning to remain healthy, they will quickly outgrow small spaces and will not take on their characteristic, desirable form, without it.

5. Mulberry Trees (Morus spp.)

Mulberry trees are attractive, medium-sized trees that produce an abundance of edible fruit. However, while delicious, this fruit can be very problematic, as it often stains the sidewalks and driveways onto which it falls. Additionally, as mulberry trees age, they require frequent pruning to remove dying branches in order to keep the tree from becoming a safety hazard. 

For more tips about which trees to consider for your yard or how to maintain the trees you have, contact a company like All Around Landscape & Tree Service.