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7 Trees You Should Never Plant in Sydney

Any gardener in Sydney knows the feeling of planting a new tree in their humble yard. Trees drastically add beauty and shade to your garden, giving it a more natural yet aesthetic value.

But not all trees bring good news to your green space. Some species carry inevitable urban residential and commercial landscape problems, while other invasive trees are better left in Australia’s forests.

Here are five trees you should never plant in Sydney to help you with your next garden tree planting, especially in urban residential areas and commercial spaces. If you’ve crossed these out on the list but are still unsure what to plant, consult your local arborists at Trees Down Under.

1. Golden Robinia (Robinia pseudoacacia)

Robinias have been popular trees since the 1980s, especially for vast garden landscapes. It’s particularly common in Australian green spaces, but most garden owners share the same plight with this tree.

Before you consider growing a Golden Robinia, it’s worth noting that it produces suckers on damaged root systems. That said, hurting its extensive root system by mowing, trimming, or tilling will lead to unwanted suckers.

Besides, while it isn’t the worst tree to grow, you should think carefully before planting one in your garden.

2. Camphor Laurel (Cinnamomum camphora)

While a Camphor Laurel is a majestic tree, it is highly self-propagating and has an aggressive root system to cause sewage pipe leakages. Gardeners near Sydney’s woodlands usually treat these trees as weeds because of their invasive and aggressive species.

You can frequently spot Camphor trees on moist gullies and slopes, forming a dense canopy. They tightly compete against Sydney’s native species and continue reproducing despite removal efforts.

3. Poplar (Populus)

Poplar trees come in many variants. However, most of them share the same unfavourable traits as an average gardener. Poplars have aggressive root systems that can disrupt concrete sidewalks, block and damage pipelines, and deteriorate solid foundations.

Moreover, poplars are also known to produce suckers, which means you might end up with more poplars in your backyard and in places you don’t want to. They are also fast-growing trees, which most variants are growing up to 50 metres tall and 3 metres in diameter, making them unsuitable for smaller green spaces.

4. Pride of Bolivia (Tipuana tipu)

Like the previous tree species, the Pride of Bolivia, commonly known as Tipuana, are a fast-growing tree with invasive and aggressive root systems.

Its roots are strong enough to disrupt sewage lines and lift concrete driveways, making it dangerous to plant nearby households and buildings. That said, only consider growing this tree if you have a vast yard and aren’t planning to have it nearby your house or any establishments.

Additionally, Pride of Bolivia is too invasive that Queensland classifies it as a weed and not an ornamental tree. That’s because its root system will spread out looking for water, usually causing leaks on taps and damaged sewer lines.

5. Weeping Willow (Salix babylonica)

While it’s famed for its distinct beauty and characteristics, the Weeping Willow carries a few consequences that can be detrimental to your garden. One is that it multiplies through layering, forming new roots from its stems.

Furthermore, the tree produces suckers from its roots, and because of that, many local councils classify the Weeping Willow as weeds. Its root system can also interfere with pipelines and should only grow more than 15 metres away from gas, water, and electrical lines.

6. African Tulip Tree (Spathodea campanulata)

This tree is native to tropical Africa and is considered an invasive species in Australia. It can grow up to 30 meters tall and has a very fast growth rate. It can easily outcompete native plant species and is difficult to control once it becomes established.

7. Leyland Cypress (Cupressocyparis leylandii)

The Leyland Cypress tree is native to the UK and is commonly used as a hedge plant in Australia. However, it can grow up to 50 meters tall and is prone to disease and wind damage. It is also not well-suited to the dry conditions in many parts of Australia.


There are tons of ideal tree choices for every type of garden landscape. However, the trees discussed above have root systems and reproduction characteristics that gardeners and arborists deem to be invasive and destructure to Sydney’s natural landscapes.

Choosing the right tree is only the first step towards a beautiful garden. Planning, maintaining, and cultivating trees are also part of the long-term commitment to growing them. That said, you need a committed and passionate team of arborists to lend a helping hand.

Trees Down Under Sydney is a team of professional arborists serving hundreds of clients in Sydney for more than 30 years. Our tools and experience in tree services ensure that your garden will get the care it deserves.

We cater to all residential and commercial tree projects in Sydney. Speak to our friendly staff at 0475 463 597 for more questions and to get a free estimate.

Trees Down Under