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Trees can become a major problem if the wrong species is chosen for the space. When planted incorrectly, some trees could damage your home and property, become enormous, towering hazards, drop copious amounts of flowers, leaves and wage war on your water pipes with invasive root systems.

To minimise costly maintenance and headaches down the track, do your homework, or better yet, get advice from a professional about what trees would be best for your backyard. You’ll be glad you did.

Here we take a look at some commonly known ‘problem trees’ you’re probably best to avoid.

Fig Trees (Ficus sp.)

Lots of fig trees start out as indoor potted plants that are planted in the garden once they’ve gotten too big. Problem with that is that figs can develop into enormous trees that can grow between 20 and 30 metres tall and wide.

They have incredibly invasive roots that will indiscriminately invade water pipes, take down walls, damage your home’s foundations and quickly swallow up a backyard space.

Umbrella Tree (Schefflera Arboricola)

The Umbrella tree is an Australian native tree that can be stunning when grown in large, natural areas like parks and outdoor landscapes.

However, this tree is not suitable for urban, backyard spaces due to its highly invasive, aggressive root systems.  Its destructive roots have incredible strength, that will cause significant damage to structures and foundations, and it is also generally considered to be ecologically invasive.

Bamboo (Bambuseae sp.)

Bamboo is often chosen as a popular screening species, but it’s important to note that there are two main types of bamboo – running and clumping.

The running bamboo variety, such as Golden Bamboo can spread so significantly that they can invade areas you didn’t want them to. The better option if you are set on bamboo is the clumping species.

Palm Trees

While palms can be beautiful and create that tropical, ‘on holidays’ feeling, they can often turn into big problems.

Certain types of palms can require significant, ongoing maintenance, have seriously invasive root systems, drop fronds and fruit that will attract screeching bats and create a big mess, and they can become towering and imposing giants.

Certain varieties such as the Cocos palm (Syagrus romanzoffianum) are classified as a weed species here in South-East Qld. If you simply must have a palm – choose wisely!

Eucalyptus Tree (Eucalyptus sp.)

There are many different types of Eucalyptus trees, varying in height, colour and shape. The majority have similar characteristics that make them unsuitable for your typical suburban backyard. They can grow very large and develop aggressive, wide-spread root systems that can damage structures and foundations. Eucalyptus branches can become weak and prone to falling, making them dangerous in storms and strong winds if they’re not consistently well maintained.

Tipuana Tree (Tipuana tipu)

Tipuana trees typically are very large trees, growing up to 20 meters high and 30 metres wide. While they can make beautiful shade trees at your local park, they aren’t suitable for a backyard garden.

Due to their size, the Tipuana’s root system is aggressive and can be destructive to foundations, structures and pipes.

Tipuanas grow and reproduce quickly so can take over a garden easily. Classified an environmental weed here in Queensland, it’s best to have these trees removed if you have one on your property.

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