The Q&A Archives: OPEN mimosa root system

Question: I have a MIMOSA TREE Albizia julibrissin ?Rosea?. It had a baby in a very shady limited space area. It is SUDDENLY 12 feet tall and very spindly. The middle-aged-widder-woman I'm chasing has claimed it. She lives on a rocky desert hill top. I need to know what the root system looks like on this puppy before I dig it a new home or try to extricate from its current location right next to huge grape vine. How deep do they go? Tap root like a pecan? I just need a general description of the roots. How much should I prune it before or after the move?



Ps: and yes I will go ahead and start her a seedling in a pot just in case.

Answer: In my experience, Mimosa trees are difficult to transplant although some sources indicate they transplant easily. The root system is very deep and very sparse -- and also very brittle. Most often trying to dig one results in loss of the dug plant followed by regrowth from the remaining root. In my experience it is easier to transplant a tiny seedling that will fit on the tip of your trowel (careful, it will have a deep root!) than a twelve footer. If you try to move it, you may find it is entangled by the grape roots but take as much root as you can and keep in mind it will probably self prune by dying back to compensate for what is lost. You will probably need to stake it to keep it upright. Plant it in a well drained location with full sun. Good luck!

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