Certain species of trees develop wood that is brittle and will break apart easily under stress from winds, snow or ice. They are also generally "messy" trees which lose twigs and small branches throughout the year.

Another bad characteristic is that they develop branch forks or crotches that have a narrow angle. These types of connections are inherently weak and are more liable to break under stress than crotches that have a wider angle between the branches. In fruit trees, young trees are purposely trained to have wider crotch angles so that they can handle the weight of the fruit load.

Generally, the one thing that all of these trees have in common is that they are known to be "fast growing" plants. This rapid growth rate translates into wood that is not strong and durable. These types of trees should usually be avoided for use in the home landscape.

Some trees with weak forks and brittle wood:
Acer saccharinum Silver maple
Aesculus Horsechestnut
Ailianthus Tree-of-heaven
Callistemon Bottlebrush
Eleagnus Russian Olive
Liriodendron Tulip tree
Magnolia grandiflora Southern magnolia
Morus alba White Mulberry
Populus Poplar
Quercus pinus Chestnut oak
Robinia Locust
Salix Willow
Ulmus pumila Siberian elm

Note: We have provided some general information and observations on this topic aimed at the home gardener. Before you take any serious action in your landscape, check with your state's land grant university's Cooperative Extension Service for the most current, appropriate, localized recommendations.


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