Editor’s note: This 2017 we want you to avoid landscaping mistakes people usually make. Our hope is that you’ll have a properly planned and sustainable garden that you’ll be proud of at the end of the year. This week, we are starting with trees.


Gardens are designed to soothe and calm the nerves. Not make you want to pull out your hair in rage and frustration.

When a tree is digging up your garden, affecting your plumbing or threatening the foundation of your house, appreciating the therapeutic benefits of gardening is probably the last thing on your mind.

Trees with invasive root systems,  most time,s leave you feeling frustrated and helpless.

“As many unfortunate homeowners discover, invasive tree roots can also cause phenomenal damage to driveways, sidewalks, and patios,” according to James Kohut over that Northscaping.com  

If you don’t want an arboricultural nightmare on your hands, stay away from these trees.

We’ve made this list for you if you plan to put a tree in your tropical garden.

Ps. Although these trees are bad for the garden normally, if properly sited and planted with the right measures, they could give their shade without the disadvantages.

1. Flame of the Forest

The flame of the forest is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful trees out there. It offers great shade and most importantly lights up the landscape with its beautiful bright red blossoms.

They grow to about 12 and 15 meters and are simply perfect. The only downside is the roots. They can tear up your garden and when planted too close to the house can threaten your foundation.

2. Terminalia  Catappa (False Kamani / Stage Tree / Fruit Tree)

Terminalia  Catappa is the popular “Fruit Tree” that gives off the pungent offensive smell during the harmattan months. But that’s not the only reason this tree is a no-no for your garden.

The roots are intensely invasive and are notorious for their sheer ability to break up concrete floors.

In your garden, it could be a major sore thumb in the perfect look you want, if not planted properly.

3. Almond Tree

Almonds are native to central and southwest Asia but have been cultivated in the tropics for a long time.

They are especially prized for their use in candies and baked goods.

While this tree is good for the confectionary industry, for your garden, it’s a terrible scoop. Their roots are aggressive and uncompromising in their spread – sucking the water (and life) from out of your garden.

4. Mango Tree

Mangoes are great, but not in the garden. In an orchard where they are far from everything else maybe, but not in the garden.

Aside from the root system that is just as invasive as every other tree on this list, they make quite a mess during their fruiting season.

Ripe mango fruits falling from the tree are a major fly attractant. And we are not talking about the small flimsy houseflies here, these rotten earth ridden mangoes attract the big silvery houseflies with the bulging shiny thoraxes.

5. Dogoyaro – Neem Tree

The neem tree is your classic arboricultural trooper. It can grow in any soil including clayey, saline and alkaline soils, with pH turned all the way up to 8.5.

If you are trying to reforest a patch of land, it’s probably your best option.

On your garden, this trooper is a bad sergeant. It could tear up your garden nicely. The worst part is that once it starts growing, it’s hard to kill.

Want to plant a tree? We’ve been helping homes and businesses do this for the last 25 years. We’ve made a science out of it and that means you can trust us. Give us a call, and let’s help you put down the roots.