Albizia Summer Chocolate tree - Knowledgebase Question

Chicago Heights, Il
Question by joymyls
June 2, 2010
I found this beautiful tree at my local store. I have planted it at the edge of my pond (facing SW) in place of th Japanese Maple I'd been considering. I love it. The tree is Zone 6 hardy and we are Zone 5 here. I have planted it in the ground in the pot because I want to slow its growth and may have to bring it indoors over winter, but would rather not . Please advise. Thank you! Joyce

Answer from NGA
June 2, 2010


Albizia is hardy down to about zero degrees. Anything colder will kill it outright. You may be able to provide some winter protection by blocking the wind with a temporary screen of burlap, or you may be able to move the tree to a protected area outdoors, away from icy winds and under the eave of your house or garage. The good news is that if your tree is able to tolerate your winter weather it may grow strong enough to endure it without much protection as it gets older. It's worth a try!

Protecting larger shrubs and trees that bloom on old wood is more challenging due to size. However, there are a few things you can do to help. Only a healthy plant has a chance of survival. Give the shrub or tree perfect growing conditions (proper soil, drainage, sun, water and fertilizer). Do not fertilize after mid August, and water thoroughly in fall, gradually decreasing the water in September to allow the plant to naturally prepare for winter. And take heart that if you can properly protect a young shrub or tree until it is well established, many will begin to acclimate to its growing conditions. If it adapts and thrives, your attention was worth the effort. Let's hope for the best!

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