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Article: Mimosa Tree - Treasure or Trash ?: My Mimosa is a favorite Treasure

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Forum: Article: Mimosa Tree - Treasure or Trash ?Replies: 20, Views: 314
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Beaumont, TX
(Zone 8b)

November 25, 2007
6:27 AM

Post #4227012

Thanks for sharing so much wonderful information and history about one of my favorite trees. I bought mine 5-6 years ago as a 5 ft. "stalk". These days the tree is about 15 ft. in height and when those pink fluffy blossoms appear, I feel that Spring has arrived. My tree blooms for quite a long time I really don't notice the brown goop because the tree is in a distant corner from any traffic. Seed pods fall everywhere, yet I've never had any sprout without being actually planted. I shared a couple of pods with my sister and after planting the seeds, all of them germinated and are now growing in a pot, awaiting her decision on placement.

I love seeing these trees along the roadsides. The big sprawling mimosa are truly gorgeous throughout the summer months.

I didn't know about the bronze leaf trees. I'll have to look for them in the plantfiles.

Newport News, VA
(Zone 11)

November 25, 2007
2:19 PM

Post #4227290

I first noticed this tree growing in an empty lot. Its pink flowers stood out amdist a barren landscape. Later I mentioned it to a neighbor who told me it was a weed tree and she had some sprouts coming up in her yard which we dug and I planted. It bloomed that first year and I was very happy with it as it needed llittle care and was attractive and I got it for free.
Later, I read about its downside. I too, like you, regretfully pulled it up. It wasnt worth the damage to the ecosystem.

Thanks for this article. It reminds us to be mindful of what we plant.
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

November 25, 2007
2:45 PM

Post #4227361

I loved this tree. It freely volunteers but the seedlings get mowed and aren't a bother.

My large Mimosa died (probably from wilt) and now if I find a seedling, I protect it from the mower. I loved to watch the hummingbirds surround these blooms. I also appreciated the layered look and leaves and blooms on this tree. Saddened only that the blooms aren't longer lasting. Thanks for the information on this lovely tree.
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6a)

November 25, 2007
3:36 PM

Post #4227538

They grow freely by the banks of the Monocacy river and really are so airy and beautiful and when they bloom - absolutely lovely.

I think I'll just leave them where they are though and not bring them home ;)

Great article!
Desoto, TX
(Zone 8a)

November 25, 2007
4:13 PM

Post #4227686

Grew up with this tree at my grandmother's (both of them) and my mother's home. Naturally had it at my first home and brought seedling with us to our permanent home. It is all of the bad and all of the good in the article. When the two we had here died of old age, 20 years, we elected not to worry with them any longer. Over 2 decades later I am still pulling seedlings all the time. Very determined species. I loved/hated them when we had them. Don't want them again. Thank you for the history.

L.A. (Canoga Park), CA
(Zone 10a)

November 25, 2007
5:46 PM

Post #4227962

I see you used my "mess-mosa" picture. :-) In my case, the main drawback to the plant is the mess. (Imagine using tweezers to pick spent mimosa flowers out of cactus. I have done that.) However, it does make a good shade tree and we have no plans to take it out. Some prior owner cut the tree back too severely and it contracted rot so now the tree is hollow. Someday it will probaby fall over. Our tree is probably over 40 years old and has gotten beat up by windstorms, but it still keeps plugging away. The self-sowing is no big deal in my yard and the seedlings are easier to pull out than fig or pepper tree. I don't think mimosas survive in the wild out here (too dry). I've never seen one anyways.
(Zone 10a)

November 26, 2007
5:11 PM

Post #4231302

Great photo of the mess Kelli - glad you posted it! It illustrated exactly what I wanted to describe.
New York, NY
(Zone 7a)

November 27, 2007
4:04 AM

Post #4233666

They do self-seed easily here in NYC, but there are so many trees that outstrip them; it's hard to take them seriously when there's still a huge silver maple out front, remnant of earlier eras of street tree philosophy, drowning lawns and flowerbeds in plump-seeded samaras every spring. I wouldn't mind having a mimosa if I could be sure of getting a good pink flower color. When they bloom, you can see trees, sometimes side by side, with markedly different colors; a whole range from bright bubble-gum pink to off-white, and I've never yet seen a named cultivar or selection with known flower color offered. Anyone?
Jacksonville, FL
(Zone 8b)

December 6, 2007
1:24 AM

Post #4265919

I first noticed a Mimosa flower when I was about 10 years old when we first moved from WVa to Jacksonville, Florida. I was enthralled by the fluffy flowers, and still am.

I have to admit that I'm growing them and plan to continue to do so, despite the negative effects. Their foliage is light enough that they make just enough shade for "full sun" plants to have a bit of an afternoon siesta in our hot, southern climate. I'm allowing them to sprout in a circular garden that I hope will someday be a complete Mimosa arbor. Red Passion Flower vines are already beginning to weave between the branches of the taller trees, and my Cross Vine (Bignonia capreolata 'Jekyll') is also spreading through the Mimosa branches to make a nice canopy.

I had a pine tree branch fall directly in the middle of one of my Mimosas last year. The main trunk split about 3 feet down, peeling back the bark to expose the very center of the trunk. I was sure the tree would die, but it healed over and is doing fine. Pretty amazing!

Parker, CO
(Zone 5b)

September 25, 2009
5:07 PM

Post #7103346

I will be trying again to grow a Mimosa.. one of my favorite trees of my childhood in S. NM. However, with my temp zone here in Colo, it's gonna be an iffy. I *have* seen one large one in Denver, but I can't remember where in town it is otherwise I'd go see if it had any seed pods. I have been fighting a wild plum bush since I bought my house 4 years ago as it sends up hundreds of suckers all over the yard, so I'm used to "wild" plants (this year, I got a hollyhock from the neighbors growing up nicely, pretty red blooms.. too bad *I* didn't plant it! It just came creeping in from the neighbor's yard!)

This will probably be the last time I try a mimosa... I so very much miss them...
Hughesville, MO
(Zone 5a)

September 26, 2009
3:54 AM

Post #7105395

Our first mimosa is probably 50+ years old. My DH's mother planted it. I prayed for more than the one for years but never had answered prayers. Then one fall we apparently got a lot of mimose seed in some yard cleanings that I got from a nearby town for mulch. The next spring we had mimosa sprouts in the blackberry rows. The next year they appeared in the front yarden where I wanted them Since then we have removed or mowed off thousands of them and will continue to do so forever I suppose. We are now aware of how they spread if there is a pollinator for them. I had no idea they are illegal anywhere. They are quite popular here.

I've never noticed that bad a mess from them. Maybe it is because we have an acre or more for them-we now have several growing in the front yarden-to spread their waste products. They certainly are less messy than maples, black walnuts, and some others I have seen.

I can't smell them either. In fact, I've never heard of anyone who says they do have a fragrance.
Cobb, CA

September 28, 2009
7:18 AM

Post #7111716

Thanks to all of your comments on the beautiful Mimosa tree. My daughter has been nursing 2 or 3 seedlings from my sister's yard in Sebastopol, CA since year 2000 when she passed. My daughter has kept it in wooden pots for the past 9 years and it finally gave us a single bloom this past week so decided to plant it on my property here in Cobb, CA. The Mimosa was totally rootbound in the half wine barrel we kept it in and even though my daughter and her friend had a major project moving it to the giant hole our friend had dug ~ it was planted in the ground 2 days ago and seems to have survived the shock! We are so looking forward to seeing it grow into a full blown tree. Hope it will survive the few snow falls we have here every year. It will be a beautiful memory of my sister for our entire family. As far as I know she did not have any problems with her beautiful pink flowering tree. She never complained of any mess and was delighted when seedlings would sprout so she could share them with whoever wanted to try them.
Mountain Top, PA

September 28, 2009
3:07 PM

Post #7112456

Our Mimosa is a treasure also! Here in PA I've never had their seeds sprout, and am unaware of "brown goop"! Maybe our winters are too cold or maybe the birds delight in eating them. However, our tree does die back and in spring it puts out new branches from the bottom of the original tree. We leave the dead part attached until then because many many different birds use it for a resting place and we get to see them since it's close enough to our sunroom :-) The Woodpeckers favor it most for hiding their food! We'll never part this this lovely tree, even with its droppings!!! The leaves and flowers are lovely!!!
Terrell, TX

September 28, 2009
4:03 PM

Post #7112685

I recall my dad having 2 in our yard here in North Texas - but having to take them out when all the shedding flowers clogged up the air conditioner of both our house & the neighbors. They wanted us to pay for their repairs...I don't recall how that was negociated but, while I love them, I don't plant them and wouldn't want one around here for fear of costly repairs. I do enjoy the memory.
Alamogordo, NM
(Zone 7b)

September 28, 2009
5:32 PM

Post #7113045

I had one in a previous yard and simply loved it. I could stay under it's cool canopy and have hummers come right up to me. It was a delight. It was not very messy either as part of it got mowed and the rest seemed to blow away. They won't grow wild here either. I don't have one in my current yard but may replace a willow with one. The globe willow drops large branches that can't be sucked up in the mower!
Parker, CO
(Zone 5b)

September 28, 2009
6:22 PM

Post #7113199

Cactus - Can you do me a big favor? If you find a mimosa tree next spring at a store, can you let me know? My parents will be back in that side of town (they'll be living in Weed, NM) and they can pick it up for me, whereas then I can come down & pick it up from them. No place sells them here. :(
Hughesville, MO
(Zone 5a)

September 29, 2009
3:22 AM

Post #7115182

Skiekitty, I can send you seeds from our tree. Let me know if you want some.
Las Vegas, NV
(Zone 9a)

October 1, 2009
2:40 AM

Post #7122135

I love the Mimosa. I use the young seedlings as ferns. Ferns do not grow in the hot desert. I dig up the seedlings and place them in a pot, flower bed or where I want the look of Ferns. The next year I dig them up and give them away and start again. I have been asked many time what kind of Fern is that over there. I did make a mistake and plant a Mimosa that was staying where I planted it. It was about one foot from a irrigation valve. It took 5 year but as the roots grew, and they do grow, the roots just moved the irrigation valve to the West about one foot. Of course in moving the valve, it destroyed that total line. You could not get to the valve because the roots by that time were at least 12 inches in diameter. Another thing I have learned, never pay for a multiple trunk. Just plant three seedling in the same hole. Mimosas grow like they are on steroids. I have a new one that I have by the front driveway. We have no moisture, humidity or rain so we have no mess with the spent blooms. They just blow in the wind. All the neighbors use the same mow and blow guys so they clean up the mess but the desert winds take care of the majority. When they drop their leaves, I thin them out to control the shape. I LOVE MIMOSA. In Nevada they are not invasive. Crab grass is invasive.
Alamogordo, NM
(Zone 7b)

October 1, 2009
10:37 PM

Post #7124573

skiekitty, I would do that but I have not seen them in a nursery in years. I think they have gotten a bad rap as a trash tree. There is one in front of a house down the street. I might be able to ask the owner if I could collect seeds if no one else gets you any. Let me know!
Hughesville, MO
(Zone 5a)

October 2, 2009
2:18 AM

Post #7125427

I will send seeds to anyone who wants them. SASP is all I ask for. I'd send sprouts but I don't know if they would survive.
Jacksonville, FL
(Zone 8b)

October 4, 2009
9:45 PM

Post #7134596

skiekitty - send me a Dmail. I spotted a young Mimosa about 1 ft tall while dragging the hose around my yard today and I will send it to you (postage costs, only). I've found that Mimosa transplant fairly easily. A friend had me pull a bunch of them from around her cockatiel cages (the seeds are poisonous to cockatiels , from what she tells me). The Mimosa saplings I got from her were bare root for several hours before I got a chance to plant them. Most of them survived, though they did drop all their leaves and branches and were bare sticks for several weeks.


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