March 2015: Top 10 plants to never use in your landscape:
#10: Weeping Willow (Salix Babylonica) This plant is a beautiful tree with a horrible disposition. It grows fast, but sheds a ton. If you have this tree in your yard you will spend countless hours cleaning up sticks and debris. Appreciate the beauty of this tree from afar, very afar.
#9: Hybrid Tea Rose (Rosa sp.) Lovely plant, great flowers, a real bear to get consistent production. The only thing you can count on year after year is a devastating fungus. I have even heard that the English Gardeners will dig up their plants each fall and over winter them in compost just to try to rid the plant of black spot. Plant Knockout Roses instead.
#8 Red Tip Photinia (Photinia Glabra). I'm not even sure if this evergreen screen is even commercially available. It is known to allow tons of fungus that spreads to other plantings. Stay away! plenty of other evergreen shrubs can be used instead
#7 Dwarf Alberta Spruce (Picea Glauca Conica) These plants sell like crazy in the garden center because they are conical, and small. The problem is they attract red spider mites. I would guess that half sold in garden centers are infested when they leave the store. Use a Holly or Boxwood to achieve your conical look.
#6 Manhattan Euonymus (Euonymus Kiautschovicus) There is very little redeeming about this plant. What is lacks in character or charm it makes up in the prolific colony of scale that grows on its stems. If you are wondering how to pronounce this plant it sounds like: You Want A Mess.
#5 Russian Olive (Elaeagnus Pungens) This plant is ugly, thorny, messy and smelly. (I know you are thinking of your mother in law right now). The one time I planted this plant was for one neighbor to spite another. If you are involved in a bitter property dispute go for it, otherwise, run.
#4 Sugar Maple (Acer Saccharum) This may look beautiful in the fall, but looks can be deceiving. This tree sheds tons of sumaras (seed pod helicopters) in the spring clogging gutters and drains. Then the leaves are super abundant in the fall adding to your chores exponentially. If that were not enough to shy away from this tree, the root system is complex, massive and shallow. This creates a web of destruction that eliminates turf, breaks up sidewalks, and invades sewer and water lines. Let the syrup harvesters deal with this beast.
#3 English Ivy (Hedra Helix) Aggressive groundcover that does not know when to quit. it starts where you plant it, then quickly spreads up your trees, house, fence, neighbor's house etc. Unless you have the maintenance crew from an ivy league school taking care of your house, choose another.
#2 Bradford Pear (Pyrus Calleryana Bradford) This tree splits more than Hollywood couples. Never park your car under one, if you do make sure your insurance is up to date. I won't even walk under one.
#1 Bamboo (Bamboo sp). This plant is like herpes, you never get rid of it. Many of men have tried and failed to conquer this beast. I had one client that gave up after 5 years and simply moved. I feel for the person that bought that house. Can you guess where the term: Bamboozled originated?
Bill Siewert is a Landscape Designer with Outdoor Lifestyles Landscape LLC. He has been in the green industry for over 30 years in Northern Virginia. He has extensive plant based knowledge as well as working knowledge with all types of landscape construction.http://www.OutdoorLifestylesLandscape.com