The Q&A Archives: mimosa tree

Question: i have about a 3 year old mimosa tree that i got from a creek in n.c. i brought the tree to my yard in illinois- i would like to know what i can do to help the tree with the transition and how to give it a better chance to survive given the change in weather, soil and water. i have been watering it twice daily on a constant trickle to get the area very wet due to it having been next to a water source.

Answer: Unfortunately I am not sure this will work out in the long run. My main concern is that your winter hardiness zone (by zip code) is only 6A. That is very cold for a mimosa to survive the winter. If by chance you dug your tree from a colder region of NC it might have enough innate cold tolerance and survive, but if you dug it from a warmer area then chances of survival are even less. Mimosas usually like a well drained soil, so I am surprised you found it growing by a creek. Perhaps the roots were able to reach down to the water and was growing on a well drained slope. Once you have gotten the soil evenly moist like a wrung out sponge but not sopping wet, that should be sufficient. Using a layer of organic mulch several inches deep over the root area will help keep it damp. You do not want to overwater as that could cause problems such as root rot for example. You also would not want to fertilize now, as this could cause a late season growth spurt that would not have tme to harden before winter. Late this fall, well after freezing weather starts, you can add more mulch over the root area, maybe even a foot deep. This might insulate the roots enough to get it through the cold. (Do not allow it to touch the bark, keep it a few inches away from the trunk. Snow is also a good insulator, so hope for lots of it this winter. Next spring, be very patient waiting for it to leaf out. Mimosas are among the last plants to come back to life each spring. If there is some winter dieback, be very patient waiting into midsummer to see if the roots can send up new shoots. If so, you may have yourself a mimosa tree! Good luck!

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