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Bad Trees

ESF Distinguished Teaching Professor Donald J. Leopold compiled this list of “bad” trees to plant in Central New York following the Labor Day storm of 1998. Leopold notes that the species in Group 1 can quickly become a liability in home landscapes. Group 2 trees are species that regularly have been damaged or destroyed in Central New York following snow and wind storms.

The trees are listed by common name and by Latin name.

Group 1

  • Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)
  • Box Elder (Acer negundo)
  • Cottonwood (Populus deltoides)
  • European Mountain Ash (Sorbus aucuparia)
  • Norway Maple (Acer platanoides)
  • Poplars (Populus species)
  • Russian Olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia)
  • Siberian Elm (Ulmus pumila)
  • Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum)
  • Willows (Salix species)

Group 2

  • Arborvitae, Northern White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis)
  • Basswoods or Lindens (Tilia species)
  • Blue Spruce (Picea pungens)
  • Callery Pear (Pyrus calleryana cultivars)
  • Catalpa (Catalpa speciosa)
  • Cherries (Prunus species)
  • Douglas Fir (Pseudostuga menziesil)
  • Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)
  • Mulberries (Morus species)
  • Norway Spruce (Picea abies)
  • Walnuts (Juglans species)
  • White Fir (Abies concolor)