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We’ve been grilling our senior arborist Steve about problem trees and why he advises Canberra households not to plant them.    Steve has been looking after trees in the Canberra region for over 20 years so we reckon he’s got a pretty good idea of what to avoid in a residential setting.

Problem trees

Here’s Steve’s top 5 trees to avoid for Canberra gardens:

Black walnut tree

  1. Juglans nigra the walnut tree is considered to be allelopathic which means it effects the survival of other plants.around it.
  2. Pistacio chinensis or Chinese pistacio is a big favourite of cockatoos who go crazy for the nuts and make a terrible mess of the tree.
  3. Fraxinus oxycarpa or claret ash has very aggressive roots and can lift  minor concrete slabs.
  4. Eucalyptus nicholli has weakened branches and often has fungal decay when older.
  5. Eucalyptus bicostata or Victorian blue gum grows far too big for residential property and suppresses other trees.

Before you plant any tree do a bit of research to find out:

  1. Is the root structure invasive?
  2. Is it a waterwise tree? Will it flourish with minimal water in Canberra’s long, hot summers?
  3. What is the ultimate canopy size and height?
  4. Will it spread over the neighbour’s fence or roofline or get into the powerlines?
  5. Does it drop a lot of mess that could be a bushfire hazard?

Trees add considerable value and appeal to your property and your wellbeing as well as reducing powerbills so it’s worth putting in the effort to make the right choice.