Ask a Question forum: Mimosa Tree

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minimeclp
Jun 27, 2015 6:42 AM CST
Hi,
I am new here and had a question about a tree. I live in zone 5 Indiana and would love to try a mimosa tree which is supposed to be cold hardy to zone 5 but I try to only plant zone 4 plants because of the severe last two winters here. I lost many zone 5 plants. Would you recommend trying one and would the end of summer be the time to plant one? I don't have anywhere to protect it from the wind and don't want it right next to my house. Is there a best side to put it on?

Thanks
Cheryl
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Jun 27, 2015 7:04 AM CST
Cheryl, Welcome!

I don't know about growing mimosa in your area (I am in Mississippi, zone 8b). I would warn you against that tree though. Even though the leaves/flowers are pretty, these trees once established are very prone to splitting. The wood is simply not hard enough, not flexible enough, to support their long limbs. I also will warn you that their roots are shallow and very invasive. You don't want one close to your house. Since they have these shallow roots, when the soil becomes saturated and there is strong wind, these trees will topple. Also those extremely long, shallow roots always will grow new plants, even when the tree itself has broken down or blown down. Digging those roots up is a real chore.

This information is all from my decades-long experience with these trees. Though they grow fine here, I would never grow another one. When I was growing up it seemed like there were mimosa every where. Now I seldom see one. I am sure others will have different experiences and opinions.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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minimeclp
Jun 27, 2015 9:54 AM CST
Thank You!
Thank You!
drdawg said:Cheryl, Welcome!

I don't know about growing mimosa in your area (I am in Mississippi, zone 8b). I would warn you against that tree though. Even though the leaves/flowers are pretty, these trees once established are very prone to splitting. The wood is simply not hard enough, not flexible enough, to support their long limbs. I also will warn you that their roots are shallow and very invasive. You don't want one close to your house. Since they have these shallow roots, when the soil becomes saturated and there is strong wind, these trees will topple. Also those extremely long, shallow roots always will grow new plants, even when the tree itself has broken down or blown down. Digging those roots up is a real chore.

This information is all from my decades-long experience with these trees. Though they grow fine here, I would never grow another one. When I was growing up it seemed like there were mimosa every where. Now I seldom see one. I am sure others will have different experiences and opinions.


Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Jun 27, 2015 9:55 AM CST
I tip my hat to you.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Jun 27, 2015 3:38 PM CST
@lauribob has been successful (I think) in zone 3 or 4, perhaps she will chime in.
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Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Jun 27, 2015 3:46 PM CST
I have one in my zone 8 front yard. I do love it, but would not have planted it if I had know about the limbs breaking off. It seems every year we lose a major limb from ours, sometimes 2 limbs.

minimeclp
Jun 27, 2015 3:56 PM CST
Thank you all for the info. It really is helpful
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Jun 27, 2015 4:01 PM CST
Let us know what you end up choosing for a tree.
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Jun 27, 2015 5:17 PM CST

Plants Admin

Mine split in half several years ago. It was a mess to clean up, but the tree is still growing and thriving. I never get seedlings from the roots, but I do get seedlings all over the garden from it. I used to carefully pull all of them up. One year I didn't get around to it, and they all disappeared by themselves. Now I never bother to pull them. I guess the seedlings don't grow that readily.

minimeclp
Jun 27, 2015 5:20 PM CST
Now i think I will replace my dying ash with a thornless honeylocust.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jun 27, 2015 5:30 PM CST
I agree that Mimosa may not be the best choice. After waiting forever for flowers on my Mimosa in zone 8 I was battling mealybugs, yuck.
Might I offer a suggestion? Look into a Star Magnolia/Magnolia stellata. They can be pruned to form a small tree, the flowers are pure joy, and the leaves look good even after the tree finishes flowering.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
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Moonhowl
Jun 27, 2015 5:37 PM CST
You may want to give Chionanthus (fringe flower) a look.

http://garden.org/plants/search/text/?q=chionanthus
Name: Lauri
North Central Washington (Zone 5b)
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lauribob
Jun 27, 2015 6:38 PM CST
I have not attempted to grow one here in zone 5, but I did have one when we lived in the more temperate west side of the state. The tree was a little messy, but I loved its pink flowers and airy leaves. We didn't have problems with branches breaking off, just small stuff. It was growing next to a patio and did not cause any heaving of the concrete. The only starts that came up were out in the lawn where they simply got mowed. The neighbors warned us that we would hate the tree, but I loved it! Just my experience - I would grow one here if I thought it were hardy enough.
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Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
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Moonhowl
Jun 27, 2015 7:00 PM CST
Lauri, Chionanthus virginicus is hardy to Zone 3...you may want to give it a look.

http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFind...

Chionanthus retusus to zone 5

http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFind...
Name: Lauri
North Central Washington (Zone 5b)
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lauribob
Jun 28, 2015 11:29 AM CST
I do have a fringe tree growing here (slowly). Mine is still pretty tiny, but blooms and smells wonderful!
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