Avatar for 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
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Jun 27, 2015 7:04 AM CST
Name: Ken Ramsey
Vero Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Bromeliad Vegetable Grower Region: United States of America Tropicals Plumerias Orchids
Region: Mississippi Master Gardener: Mississippi Hummingbirder Cat Lover Composter Seller of Garden Stuff
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 (Dr. Kenneth Ramsey)

I don't have gray hair, I have a lot of wisdom-highlights. I must be very wise.
Avatar for 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.
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Jun 27, 2015 9:55 AM CST
Name: Ken Ramsey
Vero Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Bromeliad Vegetable Grower Region: United States of America Tropicals Plumerias Orchids
Region: Mississippi Master Gardener: Mississippi Hummingbirder Cat Lover Composter Seller of Garden Stuff
I tip my hat to you.
drdawg (Dr. Kenneth Ramsey)

I don't have gray hair, I have a lot of wisdom-highlights. I must be very wise.
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Jun 27, 2015 3:38 PM CST
Name: Deb
Planet Earth (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level
@lauribob has been successful (I think) in zone 3 or 4, perhaps she will chime in.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
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Jun 27, 2015 3:46 PM CST
Name: Lynn
Oregon City, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
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.
Avatar for minimeclp
Jun 27, 2015 3:56 PM CST

Thank you all for the info. It really is helpful
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Jun 27, 2015 4:01 PM CST
Name: Lynn
Oregon City, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
Let us know what you end up choosing for a tree.
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Jun 27, 2015 5:17 PM CST
Plants Admin
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Region: Ukraine Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses Clematis
Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages Plant Database Moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level
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.
Avatar for minimeclp
Jun 27, 2015 5:20 PM CST

Now i think I will replace my dying ash with a thornless honeylocust.
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Jun 27, 2015 5:30 PM CST
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
I have no use for internet bullies!
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Rabbit Keeper Frugal Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level
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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"
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Jun 27, 2015 5:37 PM CST
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages
You may want to give Chionanthus (fringe flower) a look.

http://garden.org/plants/searc...
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Jun 27, 2015 6:38 PM CST
Name: Lauri
N Central Wash. - the dry side (Zone 5b)
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Enjoys or suffers cold winters Seed Starter Greenhouse Foliage Fan Vegetable Grower
Organic Gardener Dog Lover Birds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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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Jun 27, 2015 7:00 PM CST
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages
Lauri, Chionanthus virginicus is hardy to Zone 3...you may want to give it a look.

http://www.missouribotanicalga...

Chionanthus retusus to zone 5

http://www.missouribotanicalga...
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Jun 28, 2015 11:29 AM CST
Name: Lauri
N Central Wash. - the dry side (Zone 5b)
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Enjoys or suffers cold winters Seed Starter Greenhouse Foliage Fan Vegetable Grower
Organic Gardener Dog Lover Birds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
I do have a fringe tree growing here (slowly). Mine is still pretty tiny, but blooms and smells wonderful!
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