Tall, healthy trees are a wonderful addition to your neighborhood and yard. They provide shade—especially during our hot Wilmington summers—nurture beauty, and make a home feel more cozy. Not all trees are created equal, however, and there are certain species you’ll want to avoid in order to protect and preserve the long term value of your home.

Some of the downsides of certain trees can be dangerous and expensive. For example, some can cause damage to your home during storms when branches are torn from the tree or when the tree itself is pulled from the ground and comes crashing into your house. Trees with strong, expansive roots can cause damage to underground pipes, driveways, sidewalks, and the foundation of your home if allowed to grow unchecked. Other trees give off a distinct odor when in bloom, which is unpleasant and undesirable.

Here are three trees common to Wilmington, NC and the surrounding area, and you might not want to plant them in your yard.

Bradford Pear Trees are popular in southeastern North Carolina because of their beautiful flowers, but that comes at a cost. These trees can give off a smell of a rotting fish, sort of like old tuna. Yuck! They also tend to split in half easily once they reach 30 feet high, which makes them prone to breaking and falling—a risk that homeowners should be wary to take.

Weeping Willow Trees grow very quickly, and homeowners are sometimes tempted to plant them in an effort to bulk up a barren yard. The downside of this tree is that their wood is prone to cracking and breaking, and their aggressive roots can invade drainage and sewer pipes. They can also grow up to 100 feet and live for up to 40 years, so you may end up with more than you bargained for!

Magnolia Trees are native to North Carolina and the epitome of southern living. Unfortunately these trees’ large, waxy leaves make it difficult to grow anything underneath them—including grass. They also tend to shed a lot, dropping small branches, leaves, and seedpods all over the yard. If you don’t like raking, chances are you won’t love having your own magnolia. Better to admire these trees from a distance and choose low-maintenance trees for your own home!

We hope these tips help you make the right choices for your home and yard! Remember, trees are like any long term relationship. Choose wisely and avoid making mistakes you may regret! For more great tips about home and life, like Network Real Estate on Facebook or contact us for help finding your dream house—trees and all.