• Home Home

Homeowner seeks advice after neighbor demands removal of 'aggressive' weed: 'They easily spread through the roots and get through concrete'

"They look anywhere for water, so they're known to mess with [plumbing] terribly."

"They look anywhere for water, so they’re known to mess with [plumbing] terribly."

Photo Credit: iStock

A neighbor's complaint helped a homeowner realize they had an invasive species in their yard.

The person took to Reddit to ask: "Can anyone identify this? Neighbor says it's a weed and needs to get cut down?"

A couple of commenters noted that a weed is really "just an unwanted plant." But many others pointed out that it was a Siberian elm, which is the hardiest elm and a fast-growing nuisance, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

"They look anywhere for water, so they're known to mess with [plumbing] terribly."
Photo Credit: Reddit

The tree is invasive in more than two dozen states and can survive conditions other species can't tolerate, which is one characteristic that makes it invasive. In these cases, it outcompetes native species, especially ones that don't do well in shade, for resources. Such takeovers can allow other invasives to thrive, the Forest Service says.

There are many problematic plants and animals out there, including Japanese knotweed and spotted lanternflies. Some eradication plans feature unique ways to deal with these kinds of species — by turning lionfish into handbags, for example. Others are not as glamorous.

As one user put it: "Cut it down and pull out as much of the roots as possible. Plus, you can put something there that actually looks good or flowers (no offense, but it doesn't look good)."

The best replacement options are native plants, which have adapted over thousands of years to their environments. They support wildlife, including important pollinators such as bees and birds, and don't require as much, if any, fertilizer, pesticides, and water as other nonnative options.

Most importantly, they can help save you money on your water bill and lessen or prevent erosion, flooding, and other effects of extreme weather events, which are only increasing in severity and frequency because of the rapid heating of our planet.

"They easily spread through the roots and get through concrete," one Redditor said of the Siberian elm. "Very aggressive. They look anywhere for water so they're known to mess with [plumbing] terribly. Also a huge pain to get rid of because if it gets cut down it springs back up."

🗣️ If you have a lawn, what aspect of it do you value most?

🔘 The way it looks 🤩

🔘 The way my family uses it 👪

🔘 It's enjoyable to mow 😎

🔘 It's cheap to maintain 💰

🗳️ Click your choice to see results and speak your mind

Another commenter wrote: "Super viable seeds too - happy to grow in a sidewalk crack. It's five years old and nasty, cut it down while it's still easy. All the low fluff suggests it's been cut down before at least once."

Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider