5 Invasive Trees You Should Never, Ever Plant

While trees help a lot in preserving our environment, there are also some trees that disrupt native ecosystems. Check out those trees that we should avoid planting and why we should avoid them.

It’s hard to ignore the glamour and glitz exotic plants can bring to the garden—who can resist a different shade of flowers, or a new, unusual fruit? Some exotics, however, are best avoided if they have a tendency to outcompete native varieties. Invasive species can wreak havoc in native plant communities once they escape the garden’s confines—and the five trees listed below surely will.

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Mimosa tree

Despite belonging to an increasingly meddlesome genus, the mimosa tree (Albizia julibrissin ) is a difficult specimen for gardeners to pass over. Brushy pink flowers adorn the tree in summer, morphing into flattened bean-like pods in the fall. Mounded against double-compound, dark green leaves, the tree’s blowsy blossoms attract all manner of pollinators from bees to beetles to butterflies. Adaptable to full sun and part shade, the tree is also drought tolerant and vigorously re-sprouts when cut or disturbed (read: it’s a nightmare to get rid of). Hardy in USDA zones 6-9 mimosa is now spreading across the eastern US, striking out into abandoned fields, popping up along roadsides and even invading the fringes of forests.

Princess tree

Another beautiful bruiser, the princess tree (Paulownia tomentosa) has gotten a serious leg up on its US invasion by human admirers. First introduced in the early 1800s, princess tree is so called for its large, tubular purple blossoms which appear in spring. In USDA zones 6-9 the tree’s canopy is a cloud of fragrant flowers in April, attractive to early spring pollinators. Unfortunately, this species spreads easily through self-seeding and has begun to colonize natural areas, outcompeting other forest trees. A single well-nourished garden specimen can act as the seed source for new wild populations, creating millions of seeds that are easily broadcast by both wind and water.

Read more: https://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/garden/invasive-trees

 

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