Ms. Clark has a solid appreciation for hard science and likes to share interesting things she learns in the course of her research.
The mimosa tree, sometimes called the Persian silk tree, is a legume that can help enrich the soil where it grows. The Persian name means “night sleeper,” and in Japan it is known as the sleeping tree. That is because the bipinnate leaves fold up at night and during rainstorms.
Bipinnate simply means that instead of having undivided leaves, the leaves are separated like those of a fern or a palm frond. The flowers are anywhere from pale to deep pink and form in clusters that look like fine silk threads. They form long pods that are 5-7 inches long and enclose the seeds.
The mimosa tree—Albizia julibrissin, according to its scientific name—is native to eastern and southwestern Asia, but it does well in most climates here in the States. It is a fast-growing ornamental tree that can reach up to 30 feet or slightly more in height.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Mimosa Trees
While these trees are beautiful and powerful, their effect on the natural environment can be problematic outside of their natural ecosystem. The severity of their impact is debatable, but, as environments shift, it's becoming more and more important to study these trees.
Advantages of Mimosa Trees
- The mimosa tree is cold weather tolerant and has been known to survive temperatures as cold as -25 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Nature Hills Nursery in Omaha Nebraska claims the mimosa tree “acts as a natural de-wormer for woodland creatures.”
- From my own experience, in addition to being pretty and smelling wonderful, the mimosa trees that have been in my yard provided lots of great shade from the sun.
Disadvantages of Mimosa Trees
- Unfortunately, the mimosa tree is considered by many horticulturalists, and others, to be an ecological threat.
- Mimosa trees can grow in a variety of soils, produce large seed crops that travel and spread easily by wind and water, and re-sprout when damaged.
- The mimosa, I am told, is a strong competitor to native trees and shrubs in open areas or forest edges.
- Dense stands of mimosa severely reduce the sunlight and nutrients available for other plants.
I must confess, that as prevalent as mimosa trees are here in North Texas, I have never seen a "dense stand" of them anywhere, nor have they ever gotten out of control that I know of. I have never heard anyone complain about them.
How to Care for Mimosa Trees
If you live in an area where mimosa trees are not regarded as an invasive species and decide to grow these beautiful trees on your property, there are several important steps to consider.
- First, plant mimosas in a well-draining, sunny site that provides lots of room for it to grow (mimosa trees grow up to 20 to 35 feet tall and 25 to 30 feet wide). If you are transplanting a sapling, replant the tree at the same level as it was in its original site. If the soil is hard, incorporate compost or soil conditioner into the planting hole to improve drainage.
- Water the sapling when the soil is dry. Keep doing this until its roots are well established. This should take just one season. After doing this, water the tree, but only during severe droughts. Mimosa will die in soggy soil. Mulching conserves water and increases the time between waterings.
- Fertilize mimosa sparingly in spring or not at all. This tree is already a fast grower. Don't use too much fertilizer. It speeds up growth, but can result in weaker branches. Make sure you use a balanced fertilizer, such as 10-10-10. I'd recommend using it at half the rate recommended on the label.
- Trim out limbs that are crowded. Cut out dead and weak branches with lopping shears. Make sure to disinfect the tool blades after each use so you don't spread disease to other garden plants.
Important notes: Mimosas will, most-likely, not last a lifetime. These trees are prone to damage from disease and insects. They will probably grow quickly, reach their peak, then decline and die in about 15 years. These trees bear long seed pods that cling fast, even through winter. Mimosas seed freely, so you're likely to find new seedlings in your lawn and garden each spring. Be mindful of mimosa seeds. You may end up with many more trees than you wanted.
Tools You'll Need to Care for These Trees
$20-70 (depends on the size of the shears and the brand)
Frequently Asked Questions About Mimosas
While these trees are beautiful and might make your yard more attractive, their impact on the environment must be taken into consideration. It's important to understand the difficulties these trees can pose before you grow one.
Are All Albizia Julibrissin Trees Invasive in the U.S.?
Simply put, yes. Also called the silk tree, Albizia julibrissin is a beautiful, but invasive, tree that is threatening the landscape across the American South (primarily Florida). The tree is originally from China, where it is balanced in the ecosystem. However, in the U.S. this mimosa tree does not help the ecosystem.
Are Mimosa Trees Fast Growing?
The mimosa tree grows quite quickly. Usually, it adds two or more feet of height per year. Therefore, it can reach its maximum height of 20 to 40 feet in just 10 to 20 years. Fast growing means that it's roots spread quickly. The faster things grow, the faster they can reshape a landscape.
Do Mimosa Trees Have Invasive Roots?
The Mimosa tree's canopy creates shade that is very pleasing. However, its root systems are invasive. Its root systems can lift and crack concrete. The damage that they cause can be expensive to repair.
Can Albizia Julibrissin Get Diseases?
Yes. One common disease these trees contract is Fusarium, which causes wilting. This is a serious soil-borne fungal disease that spreads through a few different routes. A tree that is defoliated by this disease will produce spores long after the plant has died. The spores will continue spreading the wilt to healthy host plants through water, air, and insects. Any spores washed into the soil via rain and irrigation will create chlamydospores. These are thick-walled, dark structures that allow the fungi to survive inactive in the soil for an extended period of time. When tree roots from host plants grow close to these fungal spores, the chlamydospores germinate and produce mycelium, which attacks the mimosa roots, infecting the tree.
Warnings About These Trees
- The seedpods are poisonous at all times and the seeds within are even more so.
- Do not allow livestock, pets, or especially children to put the seedpods or seeds in their mouths. They can cause seizures and even death.
- Be sure to keep the seed pods away from animals and children. Rake them up as soon as they begin to fall, and teach your little ones and all of your children never to put the seedpods in their mouths. Do not assume an older child, or even an adult, who may be unfamiliar with mimosa trees, knows not to do so.
- The flowers and leaves are not toxic and some people cook them and eat them like vegetables or make tea from them, but avoid the seedpods and seeds.
Facts About Albizia Julibrissin
- It's in the family Fabaceae.
- Its native range runs from Iran to Japan.
- Its average height is between 20.00 to 40.00 feet.
- Its average spread is between 20.00 to 50.00 feet.
- It blooms from June to July.
- It has been widely planted in the U. S. as an ornamental and has escaped cultivation, naturalizing in many areas of the southeastern U.S. and California.
- In the wild, it is typically seen growing in vacant lots, waste areas, clearings, wood margins, fields, and along roads.
- Its genus name honors Filippo degli Albizzia, an 18th-century Italian naturalist, who introduced the genus to Italy in 1749.
- Its specific epithet comes from the Persian word gul-ebruschin, meaning floss silk, in reference to the flowers.
What Is Mimosa Strigillosa?
It has come to my attention that there is a good deal of confusion regarding mimosas. Some information states that the seedpods are often used as livestock feed while other information says the seedpods and seeds are the most noxious part of the plant, and can, at the extreme, cause death.
For that reason I am including information about mimosa strigillosa, also called powderpuff mimosa (because of its soft flowers) or sunshine mimosa (it prefers full sun but can do quite well in shade).
What Is Mimosa Strigillosa Used For?
Mimosa strigillosa or mimosa powderpuff is a ground cover and is indeed used as food for livestock such as cattle and chickens or turkeys, and is equally utilized by wild fowl, deer, caterpillars, and honeybees. No part of this strain of mimosa was listed as toxic, and its parts are regularly utilized as food by both domestic livestock and wild animals.
What Are the Growing Conditions for the Strigillosa Species?
Mimosa Strigillosa is a very hardy plant and can withstand severe conditions. Like the mimosa trees, this ground cover readily adapts to most soil types and can withstand drought very well. While it does grow well from the seeds it produces, the stems also spread and form an overlapping vegetative mat making it an excellent way of controlling erosion.
Important Notes About This Plant
I am including photographs of this type of mimosa so that my readers may learn to recognize it. It does not grow into trees or bushes and remains fairly close to the ground, usually three to four inches high, but rarely as much as 12 inches high. The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) says it is not considered an ecological threat or in any way invasive, yet the University of Florida Lee County Extension office says it “is difficult to control in restricted areas and is best grown with definite boundaries, such as pavement or sidewalks, where it can be more easily edged.”
Note: Please see my list of references below, and by all means, check them out for more information on this plant and any questions you may have about it. Whenever you have questions about plants, gardening, lawn care, animals (either domestic or wild), pesticides or other chemicals, food, food additives or preservatives, recipes, or a huge variety of different issues and subjects relating to plants or animals, consult your local county agricultural extension office. They provide a free service provided by the county's tax dollars. Every state and most counties have one.
Facts About Mimosa Strigillosa
- Alternate names include powderpuff, herbaceous mimosa and sunshine mimosa.
- Powderpuff is utilized by both domestic livestock and wildlife. It serves as a food source for cattle, goats, sheep, and deer.
- Powderpuff is a native, warm season, perennial legume which may reach up to eight inches in height.
- Powderpuff is also an important plant for pollinator habitat. Bees utilize powderpuff as a pollen source while little sulphur butterfly caterpillars (Pyristia lisa) feed on the foliage.
Different Mimosa Species and Origins
Thar desert of the Indian subcontinent
the central United States
Clouds of Profuse Soft Pink Blossoms: My Experience With Mimosas
Hummingbirds, butterflies, deer, birds, and bees, all love mimosa trees. They smell wonderful, and they are my favorite trees in Texas, which is the first place I am aware of having seen them. I always look forward to their blossoms, which usually appear in late spring and last for several weeks.
Some of the places where I have lived in Texas have had mimosa trees right near my front door. One evening, about dusk, I was going out to run an errand and I just happened to look up for some reason. There seemed to be a fairytale like cloud of pink cotton candy above me due to the folding of the mimosa tree’s leaves, making them invisible in the low light. The limited light made the feathery blossoms appear like soft fluff suspended in the air, and the smell was intoxicating.
The first vision of those blossoms has remained with me for years. That was when I first learned that the leaves of the mimosa fold for the night. I often wish I could have gotten a photo, but it probably would not have turned out well in such low light anyway.
- U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
- University of Florida Lee County Extension
The University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
- Florida Native Nurseries
- Garden Of Tomorrow
Questions & Answers
Question: How do you trim a Mimosa tree?
Answer: Trim it like any other tree, lopping off branches that hang too low, shortening branches that you consider too long. I have never done anything special when trimming mimosa trees and they have always come out well. As I have said, they grow easily and fast, and recover from most things very well.
Question: Does rose fertilizer hurt Mimosa trees?
Answer: Mimosa trees do best with slow acting tree fertilizers. Mimosas are usually quite hardy, and the danger comes more from strong winds. Because even though they grow like weeds and are hard to kill, they are generally a weak tree. The faster they grow, the weaker their limbs are likely to be, and the more likely strong winds will damage them. I would be surprised if fertilizers intended for roses would harm the mimosa tree, but I cannot give you a definitive answer because I have never had a problem with Mimosas regarding fertilizers, nor do I know anyone who has.
Question: Do any mimosa trees have a different type of flower than the puffy feathery ones?
Answer: No, not that I know of. Some mimosas do have yellow flowers instead of pink, but I haven't seen any yellow ones here where I live. I have only seen them in pictures online or in the encyclopedia.
Question: I've had my mimosa tree for 3-4 years and it hasn't bloomed yet. Is this normal?
Answer: “Preferring U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 through 10, mimosas need to be large enough to cultivate flowers and subsequent seed pods -- younger trees do not have the energy reserves for reproductive activity. In general, a mimosa will not bloom until it is approximately 10 feet tall. Each tree grows to this height at different rates, based on soil nutrients and moisture availability. Additionally, the mimosa must be old enough to have extensive branches for blossom development,” (Homeguides.SFGate.com).
Since height and extensive branches are important to the flowering of the tree, it would be a good idea to have this in mind when trimming the tree so as not to stunt the development of the tree itself, or the blossoms.
Question: One of my trees is losing it's leaves and oozing a clear liquid. Is the tree dying?
Answer: I would advise you to contact your county agricultural extension service that is a free service paid for by your tax dollars. Your agriculture extension service will all certainly be able to answer your questions and advise you on how to proceed. If in fact your tree is diseased you will want to remove it before it infects others.
Question: Can you grow a mimosa tree from seeds? If so, are there any rules or directions to get a good start?
Answer: Here in North Texas where I live, mimosa trees are easy to grow from seeds. The seed pods fall from the trees and in that process may be blown for quite some distance by the wind. Wherever the seed pod lands, a mimosa tree is likely to sprout and start growing. I used to mow the tiny trees down along with the grass because I didn't want a forest, just the tree(s) I already had.
The new trees may not do as well in other parts of the country due to climate or soil. Contact your local county agriculture agent for free information specific to where you live for the best information on how to start a mimosa tree or trees from seeds and how to maintain them. Here where I live, they grow much like weeds, and so making sure they have enough water and trimming them occasionally like any other trees is about the only care they require.
Question: What is the optimal time to transplant a mimosa tree?
Answer: My best advice is to contact your local county agriculture agent and ask him/her this question. Their advice is free. Your tax dollars pay their salaries, etc., so take advantage of their expertise.
I would incline to transplant the tree in the spring so that new root growth would help the tree to get rooted in its new space, and so that it would have a chance to recover before hot weather arrives, assuming you ever get that. Here in North Texas we will have temps in the low hundreds (100-108º F.) within the next few days and transplanting a tree of any size in those temperatures would likely kill it.
Make sure to give the tree plenty of water when you transplant it and for several weeks after. Also make sure the place you transplant it to will have good drainage and not be too close to buildings, driveways, sidewalks, etc., because at some point the tree's roots may be a problem for these things, causing them to rupture and crack or break up.
Question: It's mid-May and my mimosa tree has no leaves. Is it dead?
Answer: If it still has no leaves by the first week of July, it very well may be dead. Most of the mimosa trees here in North Texas don't blossom until late May or the first part of June. Be patient. Mimosa trees are not trusting that bad weather is over. They like to be positive. Many times here in North Texas we have had everything leafed out and blossoms everywhere only to get a hard freeze, and all the blossoms and new leaves are burned off and must start all over. Mimosas seem to know this.
Question: Are mimosas trees strong enough for a Toddler swing?
Answer: I have seen some mimosas that were so big that they were almost certainly strong enough for a child's swing, but even so, I would be hesitant to put a swing on any of the branches since they do break quite easily. I'm sure you don't want to harm the tree by putting too much weight on any of the branches, but more importantly, it would be terrible if the branch were to break while a child was on the swing or anywhere beneath the branch that broke. In my opinion, it would be better to choose a different tree for the swing.
Question: Can a small mimosa tree be put in a large container for a deck plant?
Answer: I should think it could, but keep in mind that most plants of any kind do best in pots that fit their size. You might start with a smaller biodegradable pot that can simply be set into a larger biodegradable pot when the small one is nearly outgrown. Keep that up until you have the plant (mimosa tree) thriving and then put it into its final pot. By doing this, your tree (or any plant) will grow faster and stronger.
Question: I had a mimosa tree for twenty-two years. It slowly died. The main branches had worm holes in them. Could I have treated it and gotten some more years out of it?
Answer: I recommend you contact your Clark County agricultural extension service. Here is the URL to one of their online sites -- it has their phone number, location, etc. I suggest you save time by calling first, to determine which of their departments deals with trees. They should be able to answer any questions, and it is a free government service. https://www.unce.unr.edu/counties/clark/.
Question: If a Mimosa is damaged, does it die?
Answer: If the damage is severe enough, the tree will die, but most of the time the damage isn't that severe, and the tree will be fine. Many people complain about mimosas because they are very difficult to kill and tend to grow like weeds.
Question: How can I get rid of what seems to be an invasion of mimosa sprouts in my yard? The house was vacant for several years and the new sprouts seem to have taken over. Or could this be some kind of ground cover that the leaves look like a mimosa?
Answer: There are both mimosa trees and mimosa ground cover which I explain in this text. The trees can spread seeds quite thickly so that dozens of little trees will get started. They are easy to grow in the moderate to warm climates. Most people just mow them off when they cut their grass.
I realize that some people are especially particular about their lawns. I do not know what would be the best actions to take to get rid of these small spouts you describe.
My best advice is to contact your local or regional agricultural county agent. There is no charge as our taxes pay for this service whether anyone uses it or not, so why not use it? They should have good advice on how to proceed with the problem you describe.
Locate the phone number and physical location of your specific county agent by putting the words, "county agricultural extension office," or "county agricultural agent," in the Google search box. Instead of saying "county," place the name of the county you live in or the county where the mimosa problem is, in front of the word county. For example, "Madison County agricultural extension office," or Columbia County agricultural agent/extension office."
Question: What is the best way to get rid of the powder puff?
Answer: Powder puff mimosa is a ground cover. I have never been in a situation where I wanted to get rid of this plant. I recommend you contact your local county agent for free advice on this subject.
Question: How long does the mimosa tree produce these seed pods? Do they need to be raked up?
Answer: Like most plants, seeds are produced towards the end of the blossoming stage. The mimosa seedpods may mostly remain on the tree all winter and fall just as the new blossoms are beginning. A bagger lawn mower can make the job of picking up the seed pods easier as you can do it at the same time you're cutting your grass. Between cuttings, you may want to check for new fallings of seedpods if you have pets or young children prone to putting the seedpods in their mouths. Personally, I have never heard of anyone being affected by the seedpods, so putting them in one's mouth can't be very common.
Question: Can you use an organic potting soil to plant a Mimosa tree?
Answer: I have never tried to plant a mimosa seedling or seed in potting soil. The seeds easily germinate here in North Texas and generally grow wherever they fall from the tree or blow in the wind unless mowed or otherwise removed. If you are able to obtain mimosa seeds fairly easily without having to purchase them, it wouldn't hurt to try to grow them in a pot or potting soil mixed in with your regular soil in the ground. I would be interested to know the results if you do this as I have never known anyone who did this.
Question: What time of the year can you prune a mimosa tree?
Answer: I have generally pruned mimosa trees in the spring, and it has had no ill effect, but these trees often grow like weeds, and as you probably know, it can be pretty difficult to kill some weeds.
For the best answer, contact your county agricultural extension office. But from my personal experience, spring is the best time. By pruning in the spring, the tree has several months to adjust to the pruning.
Question: When do you plant a mimosa tree from the pot that it came in, into the ground?
Answer: When you are certain the last freeze of the spring season has passed, it should be safe to plant your tree in the ground. Most of the time mimosa trees will grow like weeds and once it is established and starts producing seed pods it will likely fill your yard with more mimosa trees unless you remove them or cut them along with the grass.
If you aren't sure if the last freeze has passed, plant the tree sometime during the month of June so it will have time to get used to its new situation before cool weather arrives again.
Question: For how long does the mimosa tree produce these poisonous seed pods and during what time of year?
Answer: Like most plants, seeds are produced towards the end of the blossoming stage. Mimosa seedpods may mostly remain on the tree all winter and fall just as the new blossoms are beginning. A bagger lawn mower can make the job of picking up the seed pods easier as you can do it at the same time you're cutting your grass. Between cuttings, you may want to check for new fallings of seedpods if you have pets or young children prone to putting the seedpods in their mouths. Personally, I have never heard of anyone being affected by the seedpods, so putting them in one's mouth can't be very common.
Question: Our lawn under and around the mimosa tree was thriving earlier in the summer. Then, it started looking spotty and not so healthy once the mimosa blossoms began dropping. Do you think the mimosa blossoms are too acidic (or something) for the lawn? Or is it the shade from the mimosa tree that might be impacting it?
Answer: It could be one or both of those reasons. Grass grew just fine under the mimosa tree in my front yard where I lived here in North Texas several years ago, so it might also be the kind of grass planted there. I recommend you consult your county agricultural extension service. They should be able to answer your question and that service is free, paid for by tax dollars, so take advantage of it. They may be able to recommend a particular treatment or type of grass that will resolve the problem.
Question: Is the mimosa strigillosa also called a “sensitive” plant? My mother used to have some in a pot, and when we kids touched it, it’s leaves would quickly fold up.
Answer: Mimosa leaves are sensitive to touch and light. The leaves fold up in a rainstorm and as a result of low light. They fold up at night, usually at dusk before it gets totally dark. I'm not aware of the leaves folding from being touched by squirrels or birds, but they may. I have never paid attention to that.
Question: Will a Mimosa tree live in Central Florida?
Answer: Mimosa trees (also called silk trees) can and do live in Florida. They do very well there and are considered invasive in most parts of Florida.
Question: I live in Muranga County, in Kenya. Can you please tell me where I can get a mimosa tree in Kenya?
Answer: I recommend you search tree nurseries near where you live as well as nurseries here in the states. If you search with Google, I think you may be able to find a tree nursery that will ship mimosa seeds or a mimosa tree to you.
© 2012 C E Clark
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 08, 2020:
colesta552, thank you for your inquiry. I would say no, it isn't normal for your tree to develop as it has. Sounds like the soil is not right for your tree. I would recommend that you contact your country agricultural agent. You can locate their address and phone number online. They will know what is going on with your tree, and can even test the soil if need be. Their advice is professional and free. Your tax $s pay for this agency, so take advantage of it.
colesta552&gmail.com on August 07, 2020:
I transplanted a mimosa tree a couple of years ago. It grew 1 trunk about 20 foot long. Only a few leaves. So last fall I cut to about 3 foot up from the ground. Now its got 3 branches about 15 foot long and no more branch offs. Is this normal?
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 01, 2020:
KB, thank you for sharing your experience with mimosa trees.
KB on July 30, 2020:
I do find these trees pretty. But. I'm not sure where they started in my neighborhood years ago, but i now have volunteer mimosa trees along my garage. They are difficult to get rid of.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 15, 2020:
Mia, thank you for your inquiry. Please read the section above subtitled, "Warnings About These Trees."
The seedpods are poisonous and the seeds within even more so, to humans and animals alike. Never allow children or anyone to put them in their mouths, nor your pets either. Rake the pods up regularly to prevent anyone from putting them in their mouths.
Mia on June 14, 2020:
Ive thoroughly research info about the mimosa tree. My friend seems to think that the seed pods produced by the mimosa tree is a food source for lawn moles and grubs. My research has not reveal any impact on lawn moles and grubs but it did state that the pods are poisonous to humans. Please confirm. Thanks, Mia
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 02, 2020:
Susan Crofts, thank you for stopping by!
Crofts.Susan on June 02, 2020:
1536 Oakwd Cir
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 18, 2019:
Janie, thank you for your inquiry. I don't know if your mimosa is dying. First I would advise you, as I have several before you, to contact your county agriculture agent. It's free and s/he will know everything about the trees/bushes/plants that grow in your area and how to discourage or encourage them, depending on your desire.
To find your county ag agent go to Google and put the name of your country, plus ag agent in the search box. Example: Marsh county Indiana agriculture agent. That should bring up it's address and phone number. You may be able to get the info you need with just a phone call.
Second, I would ask if you have been watering this mimosa seedling? Trees need water as much as grass does. Here in N.Texas where I live, we have awfully hot weather -- 104º yesterday. We also have droughts periodically. When those two things come together lots of people who don't water their trees lose many of their trees. It's always sad (IMO) because the trees lost are usually huge and several years old. They aren't easily replaced, because it takes years to get them that big.
Please do contact your county ag agent. Water your little tree at least a couple of times a week, about a gallon's worth (more as it gets bigger), and hopefully it will perk up. It may need some nourishment as well, and your ag agent can give you info on what to feed it.
You didn't say where you live, so it could be that you are going to have an early autumn. Have any of your other trees lost leaves earlier than usual? I wish you the best of luck with your little tree.
Janie on August 15, 2019:
I'm starting a Mimosa that came up I the area that one was many years ago. It is 2 years old now, looking very good, no blooms this year. It is middle August and just lost a lot of leaves. Is this normal? There are still green leaves out on the outer limbs. Please tell me it is not dying!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 14, 2019:
Jay from Portland, thank you for commenting and sharing your experience with your mimosa tree. Yes, during certain seasons the mimosa can be a little messy, but there are lots of trees that are even messier. And they aren't as pretty either. ;) Yes, it's good to rake up the seed pods since they are poisonous to humans so that little children who might be walking around the yard don't decide to pick one up and taste it. And the blossoms can be messy too, but they are so, so magical at dusk when only the blossoms are visible and they seem to be huge floating clouds. Thank you again for taking time to comment!
Jay from Portland, OR on August 12, 2019:
We have a Mimosa tree in the front of house. It is 40' high and 20' wide. It is very pretty! It starts late in May or June from its winter slumber. To may friends I describe it as a pretty lady! One thing people do not mention, but it makes lots of mess!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 06, 2019:
Jonathan Dent, thank you for your question. Grass has grown under all the mimosa trees I have had over the years.
I know grass requires sunlight, so maybe your lawn isn't getting enough of that where your neighbor's mimosa tree overhangs it? Other than that, I can't think of any reason why the grass died in your yard under the mimosa tree.
I recommend that you call your county agricultural agent located in your county's extension office, and see what s/he may know about your situation. Their service is paid for by tax dollars and usually free to the citizens in the county where they're located. Every county has an extension office so far as I know. They know everything about the vegetation in your area and may be able to give you some advice about what to do with your grass.
You can find your extension office by Googling it. Put Harper County Extension office, Wisconsin,in the Google search box, for example. You would put the name of your county and your state in place of the one's I've used, of course. Googling your extension service should give you their phone number and physical location if you aren't already aware of it.
I suppose it's possible that the kind of grass you were trying to grow may not have liked the location or the type of soil for some reason, and a different kind of grass might work better. Whatever the problem was/is, your county agent should be able to suggest some possible solutions.
Jonathan Dent on August 06, 2019:
I laid a new pristine lawn two years ago and where my neighbours Mimosa tree overhangs the lawn it has died. I know the seeds are poisonous but can they also kill everything that grows underneath?
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 06, 2019:
Bobbie O'Brien, thank you for reading this article and for sharing your thoughts on this beautiful tree. I think sharing your experience with these trees, and your love for them, adds so much to this article and provides information that many people will appreciate knowing. Thank you for taking the time . . .
Bobbie O'Brien on July 04, 2019:
I have about 200 mymosa trees growing in my yard from the pods that drop onto the ground. I just let them go crazy. I'm thinking about starting to sell them and they will grow anywhere ..shade, sun out of rocks , wood there a wild tree that i love it off all trees they've got to be my absolute favorite of all. Along with Magnolia trees one blind in the spring and mymosa in the summer
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on April 09, 2019:
Robert Sacchi, you are welcome. Glad you enjoyed this article!
Robert Sacchi on March 27, 2019:
Thank you for posting this information and warnings.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on October 17, 2018:
Thank you Peggy Woods, for revisiting this article. I have made several additions since you were last here. It is one of my most popular and successful articles.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on October 15, 2018:
It has been 2 years since I have shared this good article about Mimosa trees. Time to do so again. Hope you are staying warm with this early cold snap we are experiencing.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 29, 2018:
Betty, thank you for stopping by. I'm afraid I don't know of any way to prevent the tree from producing seedpods. You might check with your county agricultural agent or extension service. If there's a way to do anything regarding plants of any kind, they will know it. And the service is already paid for by your tax dollars, so give them a call or stop in for a visit.
Betty on August 26, 2018:
We have a large memosa which is lovely except for the seed pods. Is there a way to sterilize the tree? Or, better yet, prevent it from making pods after it blooms?
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 14, 2018:
FW Sunshine, thank you for sharing your mimosa story. I really enjoyed reading about your experiences.
I noticed when I had a huge mimosa in my yard that the 'babies' were often spindly at first, 2 to 6 inches tall, sprouting up like weeds. I just mowed them over when I cut the grass. Presumably they would have grown fairly large if I'd let them. The new little trees were only noticeable if one really looked at them. They were plentiful, but they just didn't draw much attention. They looked like spindly weeds growing and some people might have thought that's what they were if they didn't know better.
There was also a very straight tall mimosa about a block from where I lived. Totally different from the mimosas that had sprawling branches that are most common where I live. It reminded me of the tall white pine trees in Wisconsin where I'm originally from because of its height, at least 35 feet, and it's straight trunk.
From a distance the tall mimosa looked very much like a tall white pine tree, but up close it became obvious the leaves were very different, and of course when it bloomed it looked more like the mimosa it was. Sadly it was cut down to make room for a new housing development. I really wanted to get some of its seeds to see if I could get some tall mimosas to grow for me.
I have seen pictures of the yellow mimosas, but have never seen any of the actual trees.
So glad you enjoy mimosas and that you shared your experiences with them with me and my readers.
FW Sunshine from Paris, France on August 12, 2018:
Thank you for your article. I was online searching to find the typical blooming season length for a mimosa tree; we had a recent pea-sized hail storm and the nearby mimosa lost most of its blooms, but there appear to be a few erupting again, and I was wondering if we would enjoy another spurt of prolific blooms and perfume. Here's my mimosa story. Growing up in Houston, we had a mimosa tree in our front yard. It actually did not seem to grow very fast and never got over 20', but I loved its blooms. My brother and I were the "yard help," and I do not recall ever having significant pest problems or any volunteers sprouting up, either. I also recall that we used the seeds often for crafts, staying away from all the oleanders which were touted as poisonous. As an adult with a home in Fort Worth, Texas, for 30 years, I actually sought to buy a mimosa tree for several years, but never found them at nurserys. Many neighbors had them as a focal point of their front yards, and a neighbor behind me had one that loomed over a back fence providing afternoon shade to a couple of my multitude of raised beds. Again, I do not recall any volunteers. On morning walks, girlfriends and I would know when we were a couple houses away from a yard with a mimosa tree; at the height of the blooming season, the fabulous aroma would almost knock your socks off. I searched repeatedly to buy mimosas when I replanted one of my front yard beds, then decided on dessert willows based on their drought tolerance and lovely blooms. So I never got my mimosa. I moved this past year to Paris, renting an apartment in the oldest part of the city. Lo and behold, my 2nd floor living room (considered 1st floor in France) looks out on a playground/park and the huge old windows frame a gorgeous view of a giant mimosa tree (see profile pic). When I saw it as we moved in, I laughed that it looked like a mimosa, but since it was not yet in bloom, I wasn't sure. As a riot of blooms began to appear in early June, I confirmed that I am living across from one of the loveliest and definitely the largest (I'm pretty sure it is at least 40 feet high) mimosa trees I've ever seen. Also, at Butte Chamont, a park I take my dog to in NE Paris, there are huge, lovely mimosa's in several places (but not in clusters). When you search for mimosa trees in France, you find a variety that has long yellow blooms, not the pink-yellow puffy blooms from Texas mimosas. But I smile every morning as I wake up, walk out for coffee, and enjoy my neighborhood mimosa tree. And I'm going to pluck up some seed pods (or do a graft) to try to bonsai a mimosa this next year.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 10, 2018:
Tommy M., thank you for your inquiry. It's possible that there's something wrong with the soil your trees are growing in, or that they may not be getting enough water. I recommend you call your county agriculture agent ASAP and get some free advice on how to deal with this situation. They may need to do a soil analysis. In any case, I wish you luck in resolving this problem.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 10, 2018:
Chow Mom, I'm glad you're able to get the seeds to germinate. It sounds like your climate may be less than ideal for the mimosas. The soil may be a problem also. Here mimosa trees grow like weeds with no issues. Truly hot water may be too hot. You might consider warm water for a longer period then 24 hours.
Tommy M. / Eastern Kentucky on July 09, 2018:
The leaves are falling off most of my trees. Trees are completely bear. What can I do to stop this
Chow Mom on July 07, 2018:
I live on the edge of the Mojave desert and a beekeeper. Bees love them. They don't appear to be invasive and in 13 years not a single invader. I started plants from seeds a month ago.The seeds don't germinate easily. They need to be removed from the pod. The shell is very hard so each end must be shaved down with a nail file, soaked in hot water for 24 hours. The shell plumps up. They are then ready to plant in starter pods. They germinate in a few days. http://homeguides.sfgate.com/grow-mimosa-tree-seed...
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 28, 2018:
Debra Andrews, thank you for stopping by. I have no idea what you are talking about. I have never heard of the condition you speak of relating to any tree much less a mimosa. I recommend you contact your country extension service agent who has free information relating to all plants and trees common (and not so common) to your area.
debra andrews on June 26, 2018:
Mine has a hole /pot at the base what can I seal it with ?
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on March 30, 2018:
Benjamin, thank you for commenting and for stating your concerns. I have listed my sources for the information herein at the bottom of the section labeled Mimosa Strigillosa . . . Also, John Minton, Gardens of Tomorrow has issued the warning about the seed pods being poisonous. See his entry under What Makes Mimosa Special? at the following link. http://gardenoftomorrow.com/mimosa-albizia-julibri...
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on February 22, 2018:
Rachel, thank you for taking time to comment. Lots of green grass may be optional depending on how large the mimosa tree is and how much sunlight reaches the ground directly beneath it. I have seen some huge mimosas and sometimes the ground directly around the tree trunk is a little sparse. :)
Rachel on February 16, 2018:
Well you get a green grass cover under you tree, it's green and very juicy like clover coming up late winter early spring
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 02, 2017:
Nilza, thank you for commenting and sharing that information!
nilza on November 29, 2017:
Brasil has beautiful mimosa trees.....
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on November 27, 2017:
Brian, thank you for your inquiry. The only things I can suggest is that you check with your local nurseries if you are in the South where mimosas are most common -- they may be able to order them if they aren't in stock, and that you check on nurseries online. Never having purchased seeds of this sort, or trees generally, there is no particular nursery I can recommend. Rather than Google "nurseries," Google "where to buy red mimosa tree seeds." I hope you are able to find what you're lookin for. Good luck!
Brian Pantalleresco on November 22, 2017:
Can you please guide me to buy Red rare mimosa seeds
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on November 13, 2017:
California Girl, just glad if I can help. Good luck with the mimosa project!
California girl on November 01, 2017:
Thank you for the reply. Definitely helped with where I can put it. I live out in the country no sidewalks but the side yard has no trees whatsoever. It does concern me about the seed pods being poisonous I do have chickens but they are cooped up as long as I can keep the pods away from their living space I think I could definitely make it work. I have a friend that has a lot of these and has offered to give me starters. I say it's a go! Thanks again I will continue to check this site for additional comments
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on November 01, 2017:
California Girl, thank you for perusing this article and the comments too. I like to read the comments on an article too, because they often include additional info that wasn't in the article.
Mimosa trees tend to have shallow roots, but they are very strong and powerful. The trees can withstand a lot of difficult conditions overall. I do not recommend you plant mimosa trees very near sidewalks, foundations, driveways, etc., because they will lift them up and crack them. They also tend to be messy trees, so don't put them by the pool. They will crack any concrete you have surrounding it and drop blossoms and leaves etc. into the water continually.
Perhaps along the property line would be good so that you can readily view them hopefully without their encountering sidewalks or driveways or foundations.
Six feet may be a little too close. I recall one house I lived in a few years ago that had a huge gorgeous mimosa in the front yard. It was a very small front yard and the tree pretty well covered it. The sidewalk going to the front door was cracked and broken in a couple of places and the tree stood at least 10 feet from it. Much as they make a beautiful centerpiece for the front lawn, I believe if I were planting them I would put them along the backyard fence line so hopefully they would be well away from both mine and the neighbors concrete work.
Unless you have a huge front lawn. I have seen homes with front yards half the size of a football field, no kidding, and one could put theses trees all over an area that big that has no concrete work to close with no concern.
California girl on October 31, 2017:
I read most of these comments and skimmed them all without seeing anything about their root system. Do they run deep or along the surface. My leech line is about 3 feet down, but would plant them about 6 ft over from it. Do you think they would be ok or is that too close?
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on October 14, 2017:
Diane, thank you for your lovely comment. I'm so glad you love these trees as much as I do and that you enjoyed this article!
Diane on October 09, 2017:
I love these trees. I first noticed them as a child at the age of 8. Since then I always wanted one of my own. When my Mother passed away my husband got one for me. I have it in our yard and it is beautiful! Just 2 days ago we lost our beloved cat of over 17 yrs. We decided under this tree would be perfect spot for her. I will be reminded of her and seeing the beautiful tree filled with butterflies and humming birds seemed fitting. My cats name was Pinky, because she was attracted to the color pink! And this tree having pink fluffy blossoms seemed soft and sweet like her. Thank you for posting all the information about this lovely tree.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on September 06, 2017:
Grannyma 1, thank you for sharing your thoughts and your appreciation for these beautiful trees! I'm so glad you're enjoying your tree and chimes together. :)
Grannyma 1 on August 31, 2017:
Love mimosa trees, they are beautiful, in my area I haven't noticed any spreading like weeds, central North Carolina. I also love wind chimes and have combined the two. Now I have a beautiful tree that provides whimsical chimes when the wind blows!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 23, 2017:
Kim, from Taylor, MI, thank you for taking time to comment. I'm so glad you were able to find this article. I hope you will take time to read the comments too, because they can be very helpful sometimes.
One commenter talks about how invasive this tree is in her area in the state of Pennsylvania. I know that's still a little south of Michigan (I'm originally from WI, and I know how cold it can get up in that part of the country), but I think if you plant your mimosa in a somewhat sheltered area, maybe where some stands of other trees can surround it on 2 or 3 sides, it may do OK. Once it gets well rooted, I think from what people are reporting in the comments here, even the cold may have a challenge trying kill it.
I'm so glad you got to see this beautiful tree. I really hope you are able to get it to do well up there. :)
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 23, 2017:
Season, thank you for sharing your experience with mimosa trees with me and my readers. You have added some very helpful information and I really appreciate your taking the time to do so!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 23, 2017:
Larry in Gowdy Indiana, thank you for sharing your experience with mimosa trees and for your inquiry. I wish I could tell you if the roots of your trees will damage the foundations or floors in your buildings, but I honestly do not know. I would recommend that you contact your Rush County Extension Office that is there to answer all manner of questions about trees and other plants at no charge to you (765- 932-5974).
Regarding transplanting mimosa trees, if your trees aren't very large you might prefer to start new ones. It would be easier. Just harvest some of the seedpods from your big 50-year old tree and place them barely under the soil in the location(s) where you would like them to grow.
As another commenter mentioned, mimosa trees do grow a lot like weeds and it's very difficult to get rid of them once they have a good start. Check out Apache Rose's comment below, and also Season's. Even when damaged these trees will often bounce back, so -to-speak, and pretty quickly.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 23, 2017:
Apache Rose, thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences with mimosa trees. I am really sorry they are such a nuisance for you.
I do know that they will grow like weeds if they are not kept in check, but the people here in the city where I live in North Texas do keep them in check, as I did when I had them in my yard. You do have to be vigilant in not letting them take root where you don't want them. A lot of trees are like that. In my case, the new little trees were mowed along with the grass every week, and so they never got past the barely a seedling stage. I have not seen them growing wild in the countryside either. I'm a little surprised that they don't do that here.
Glad you have decided not to use chemicals to kill the unwanted trees. I dislike chemicals even if using other methods does take more effort in the long run, and not only for getting rid of mimosas. Weed killers do more than just kill weeds -- at least in my experience, and they end up in the storm drains and next they're on your dining room table.
Kim from Taylor, Mi on August 23, 2017:
I saw my first Mimosa tree yesterday, actually it was in bloom. Such beauty to behold! I was visiting my son in Centerville Ohio, and i just happened to glance in his neighbors yard, and i saw this beautiful pink airy flower. I thought it must be a mistake, what tree blooms at the end of August?! I talked to the neighbor, an took some pictures. When i got back to Michigan today, i looked up this tree and came to your site. Thank you for the wonderful information! I shall check with our extension service to see if it is ok for planting here in Michigan.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 23, 2017:
Joe Fain, thank you for sharing your thoughts. I'm so glad you share my love of mimosa trees!
Season on August 17, 2017:
I live in northern middle tennessee. I have a couple of mimosa trees in my yard! I love the smell of the blooms & how pretty they are in bloom but the seeds do sprout up everywhere & if a seedling is left to grow too long, you are stuck with it! They're impossible to kill! I have a few that were left to grow in the flower beds around the house when my sister in law lived in this house & I have cut them down, dug up as much root as possible & sawed huge hunks of the roots out & still cannot kill it! New sprouts shoot up from every piece of root multiple times a year & I just keep ripping them off! It doesn't take long for these trees to take root either & like I said once they do you're stuck with it...they're not very easy to pull up once they get several inches tall & cutting them to the ground does no good...they will sprout right back up! They will grow anywhere too! You're best bet is to do as you said and take the seed pods up as soon as you see them start to fall & dispose of them somewhere you don't mind them growing! I do love the big ones I have though! They're my little piece of paradise! When they bloom, the whole yard smells good & they look like a fairyland with dozens of hummingbirds & butterflies all over them!
Larry in Gowdy, Indiana on August 15, 2017:
I live in southeast central Indiana and have had Mimosa tree (we call them Formosa) in my yard for the past 50 years. It keeps getting bigger and bigger but blooms every year. Problem is that it close to the country road and also has power lights from the road to my house growing thru it so I have to trim it from time to time although I don't want to.
In the past couple years, seeds have fallen her my house and also my wash house. So now I have 3 trees going along side the buildings and one near my water well. Will the roots cause problems to my foundations? And to the well?
I don't want to cut them down since they now are huge and blooming beautifully but I don't want damage either.
Also I have some small ones starting up in other area outside of my lawn mowing area. If I try to replant them elsewhere, how far down in the ground do I dig to get all the roots? And will I be successful in replanting them?
Thanks for your help.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 09, 2017:
Shyron, thank you for stopping by. I think trees are important and it upsets me when I discover they have been removed or over-trimmed for no good reason.
Just as I told you how a very useful shade tree had been removed about 8 weeks ago now, from the corner of the OfficeMax store, now just this past Sunday I discovered the trees around one of our Panera restaurants have been trimmed practically to death!
I noticed it when I was going to park under one of the trees that provided enough shade for 4 vehicles. The tree was there, but the shade wasn't! It had been trimmed to where there were a few limbs reaching up to the sky with little tufts of leaves at the end of each one. I was shocked and I still am. Now there is no shade at all. The hottest part of our summer and someone all but killed that poor tree and did the same to the others in that area of the shopping center.
Blessings dear friend . . .
Apache Rose on July 29, 2017:
To one of the comments below, if you cannot understand why a non-native tree is considered unwanted and potentially invasive, it is concerning. You value pretty over decimating ecosystems. Why?
While I respect those that value the mimosa so long as it is grown with care and not allowed to grow wild, it grows like a weed here in PA. My next store neighbor had a fully grown one until he removed it about a decade ago. Long story short, I am still dealing with offspring of that tree. They love to anchor next to a structure or other plants. They have an ability to grow in odd places like from under my shed and basement window wells and recover from being cut back. Not only recover but quickly. As short as a week or two. If you have trees that provide cover, seedlings will take hold before you know it. One is partnered with a lilac here. Others near wild cherry and mulberry under large pine. Granted, I have not tried chemicals but I would rather not because I never use them anyway and it is right next to a water well. Unless I put the shed on rollers so I get at the plants growing under it, I will always have mimosas I do not want.
So please better than my neighbor and mindful of your trees. They may be neat but will be a headache for yourself or others if planted in prime conditions. They do grow like weeds in those conditions even if you haven't seen it.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 25, 2017:
John Weidman, thank you for commenting and sharing your experience with these trees. I agree that they do tend to grow like weeds, but I still think they are easy to control. If one mows their yard regularly, just mow those little trees at the same time and their kept from growing where they aren't wanted. I also find it hard to believe they only last 20 years, but this is what some of the experts say. I think there are often exceptions to many rules . . . :)
Joe fain on July 22, 2017:
We have one of these beautiful trees in our yard, and what you read is not true, its 10 years old theres not another tree in sight i've never seen these trees out of control anywhere, now pine and locust, trees is what i consider unwanted and evasive... i dont know why people lie about and hate things that are pretty and like things that are nasty and ugly...
John weidman on July 20, 2017:
I have 2 in my yard and one of them is a monster and still blooms each year! I would say, by the size of it, that it has to be well beyond 20 years old! I have so many pop up volunteer each year, that I have to eradicate them like weeds, or mulberry trees. They are absolutely beautiful trees!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 12, 2017:
JoAnne, thank you for taking the time to tell me and my readers about your beautiful mimosa tree and it's history. I have read that the normal life expectancy of mimosa trees is about 20 years, so if yours has lasted twice that long you are lucky indeed.
If it does manage to blossom again you may want to be sure to gather some of its seedpods so that you can start a new tree (or several new trees) that would be offspring of your tree, and so continue the wonderful history of your tree.
I'm sorry I can't' give you better news or advice than that, but after much research that is what I learned. After 20 years most mimosa trees rarely blossom, etc., and don't live much longer. I'm glad yours has done so much better than that, but I really would save some of the seedpods if you get some this year. Know that I wish you the very best results with your tree.
JoAnne on June 27, 2017:
I have a beautiful Mimosa that is very special to me as my late dad dug it up from his yard and gave it to me 40 or more years ago when my husband and I bought our home. The funny thing is he didn't realize he was giving me the Mimosa as it was dug up with a lilac bush that was the intended gift. Anyway, the lilac is still thriving and Mimosa is at least thirty feet tall and up until this year has bloomed beautifully. But this year, although it has leaves, it has not produced any flowers. I am concerned. I would appreciate any thoughts you might have. Thank you.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 20, 2017:
Heather, I'm so glad you love the mimosa trees like I do! Thank you for taking time to let me and my readers know.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 20, 2017:
Nichole, thank you for commenting. I'm so glad you enjoyed this article and even happier that you appreciate the mimosa trees in South Carolina.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 20, 2017:
TimPearce3, thank you for commenting, though I must say I think you are exaggerating just a bit. I have seen kudzu and mimosas aren't anything like it.
When small trees erupted in my yard I merely ran them over with my lawn mower along with the grass and they were gone again until next time. Continuing to run over them with the lawn mower will keep them under control, but one could if they wished, pull them up by hand before going over them with mower if one wished.
Here where I am in N. Texas mimosas have never been a problem that I know of. I realize that doesn't mean they aren't or haven't been a problem elsewhere, but I do think they are preferable to kudzu.
I love mimosas and I can't imagine why anyone would want to obliterate them. Mimosas don't even have briars or thorns like mesquite or honey locust trees. To me these trees are far less desirable. Did you read my article about the mesquite?
There are lots of other trees that grow quickly and easily propagate. Butternut trees up north is one tree that comes to mind.
Tim, I'm sorry you don't like mimosa trees, and truly sorry they are giving you such grief. Check with your county agent if you haven't already to see if there's something you haven't tried yet.
Shyron E Shenko from Texas on June 17, 2017:
Au fait, I think you know that I am a tree lover/hugger with the exception of the mesquite/devil tree.
I hope all is well with you.
Blessings and hugs dear friend.
Heather on June 14, 2017:
I live in Ohio and have 3 Mimosa trees in my yard. I love them.. they are very beautiful.
Nichole on June 11, 2017:
Thank you for the article and information. I just recently discovered the Mimosa as I moved to upstate SC. It is a true beauty, one that I can only describe as soul touching.
Thanks again for your time and article!
Timpearce3@yahoo.com on June 09, 2017:
How do you kill them all ? I've been battling these monsters for years. Worse than kudzu.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on May 09, 2017:
Walterrean Salley, thank you for taking time to comment!
walterrean salley on April 28, 2017:
Love the mimosa. Thanks
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 14, 2016:
Mostafa Shaheen, thank you for reading and commenting on this article. Thanks to you I have added more information about mimosa ground cover to this article.
It seems there is more than one kind of mimosa. The mimosa ground cover is what some farmers feed their livestock, and the pods and seeds of the mimosa tree that are toxic.
I have seen pictures of the yellow mimosa, but never seen the real thing. All the mimosa trees here in North Texas that I have actually seen, and there are many, are pink, and yes, the seeds do provide trees that look just like the parent tree.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 14, 2016:
IAS, thank you for taking time to read and critic this article and for your well intended suggestions. I like to read the comments on an article as it seems you do too, and so I think your comment will serve your concerns well without my adding anymore stern warnings.
I have added more information about mimosa to this article, though I believe I have sufficiently let people know that in some parts of the country it is considered invasive. Here in North Texas, I hardly ever see mimosa trees anymore. I don't know what has happened to them. They used to be everywhere in late spring/early summer. They're definitely not invasive here, though there are plenty of other things that are.
While the trees you suggest as substitutes are plentiful here, and very lovely, they can't replace mimosa trees in my mind. I love mimosas and none of these other trees even capture my attention, though as I said, they are very pretty, and probably less messy too.
I would always recommend anyone with questions about plants or trees and a great many other things as well, contact their local extension office for information, as there is no charge and the agents there are brimming over with excellent information.
Mostafa Shaheen on November 28, 2016:
You mean that this tree gives seeds that grow same as the mother? I heard it never gives the same colour, the flowers are always yellow & pink ones are rare variety.
In the begining of the article it is said that seeds are used as feed for livestock, then at the end you say it is poisonous!!
IAS on November 28, 2016:
Mimosa/Silk Tree (Albizia julibrissin) is identified as a non-native and invasive weed in the US. This is a fact regardless of personal experience or feelings towards them. But your tone seems to dismiss the severity of the threat and expert consensus. The USDA Forest Service and ecology experts agree that it out-competes native species and threatens habitats. It is a "severe" threat in GA, FL, TN and "significant" threat in SC, KY, and VA. http://www.invasive.org/south/seweeds.cfm http://www.na.fs.fed.us/fhp/invasive_plants/weeds/...
May I suggest two edits to the main article to help with responsible horticulture:
1) Add a disclaimer plainly stating that mimosa/silk tree is non-native to the US and may be locally designated as invasive or noxious. Please check local jurisdictions before planting.
2) Suggest alternatives for those that do not want to plant mimosa where it is designated an invasive. At least one commenter suggested Mountain Ash. Also, serviceberry, redbud, redbark dogwood are all beautiful, native, and will help native ecosystems.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on October 06, 2016:
Bruce, thank you for your comment. I have been in North Texas for over 27 years and I have never seen any dense clumps of mimosa trees either. In fact, for the last couple of years I've hardly seen any mimosa trees in bloom at all. That is when they stand out IMHO, when they are in bloom, and I love them, as I said in this article.
Bruce on September 07, 2016:
As we said in my childhood "say whaaaaaaaaat?"
Dense clumps of mimosa trees. I grew up in North central Texas with a lot of visits to the east Texas Piney Woods where grandma lived. I have never seen dense clumps of Mimosa. Even if I had how is that different from the dense cumps of any other tree species in Texas?
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 24, 2016:
Colorfulone, thank you for reading and commenting! I'm so glad this article has been useful for you and that you enjoyed it. I recommend you go where there is a nice mimosa that you like and collect a bunch of the seed pods. They should be available about now unless the owners have raked them up. The mimosa trees I have most appreciated were two trees entwined together. Getting them to grow isn't hard. I hope you get one started this summer!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 23, 2016:
JP, thank you for sharing your experiences with mimosa trees. I have had mimosa trees in my yards over the years. I say yards because I lived in different locations and several had mimosa trees. Yes, they do start easily and seedlings will appear in the yard everywhere, but I never found that to be an issue. If they were in a bad location where I didn't want them to grow I just mowed them down along with the grass every couple of days. Here in Texas during the rainy season one must usually cut their grass at least twice a week, sometimes even three times. If the seedlings are mowed regularly (every year or two) they are (IMO) easily managed.
Yes, in the undeveloped countrywide there are occasionally clumps of mimosa trees, but why is that any more of a problem than a clump of any other kind of tree in that situation? If the land is developed into a housing project for example, every tree, or nearly every tree, regardless of age or type, will be taken out and destroyed. Removing a mimosa tree or a clump of them, is no bigger problem than removing a 100-year old live oak tree. In fact, it's usually easier.
Once the construction is completed new trees will be planted of whatever kind is preferred, and by the time one's great grandchildren are in the world, those new trees will be almost big enough to provide some shade.
Up North where I am originally from (now in North Texas, but grew up in central WI), the offending trees were box elder trees. They too grow up like weeds and they are relatively weak so that the slightest wind can damage them or bring their branches down. They are despised by most people because they are messy trees as well. They aren't ever especially pretty that I recall, and never smell so wonderful as mimosas. I think every area of the country has trees native to the area that are less than appreciated.
Mimosas have all the wonderful things about them described here, where box elders do not, yet they are both 'junk' trees by many people's standards. They aren't strong and long lived like oaks. Your grandfather was right not to let you climb in the mimosas because you might have been injured. They are not good trees to have near a vehicle parking area as they might easily come down on the vehicles parked there in a strong wind.
I have seen some very large mimosas. One that I recall was about 40 feet or more tall! Very much like one of the tall pine trees except it was a mimosa. Very unusual, and a couple of years ago I went back to the neighborhood where that tree was to get some of its seeds. The tree was gone, removed for the purpose of building new houses. I don't understand why it was removed since it had stood for many many years beside the street and couldn't possibly have been in the way of the builders.
Pine trees often have very shallow roots and tip over easily in a strong wind storm. Yet they remain popular with a lot of people. Here in North Texas they are highly desirable because they are not native.
I'm thinking that perhaps your issue with mimosa trees is because you are spoiled. Just a guess since I've never lived in Kentucky. I have lived in 5 different states exposing me to the various problems that tend to be common in a particular area while not being a problem anywhere else.
The reason I say you may be spoiled is because here in Texas there are lots of problems relating to climate and other naturally occurring things. Only Australia has more nasty poisonous critters (bugs, snakes, etc.) than Texas. We also have more thorns and briars on various foliage and trees than you can imagine. Mesquite trees are hated far more than mimosa trees and they too grow like weeds with tough roots so that cutting them down doesn't mean getting rid of them. So long as a small part of the root remains they will grow back up. Honey locust trees have thorns of the worst sort all over them, too. Holly is a favorite hedge bush for under windows. :)
Believe me, a mimosa is the most minor of problems compared to mesquite trees and other spiny, thorny, briar covered plants and trees. Entire fields may be covered with nothing but nettles and thorns and briars. Mimosas are at least pretty and they smell divine.
Yes, some people who aren't aware of the correct name of the tree go by the sounds they hear when other people are talking about them and somewhere along the way mimosa becomes formosa or something else similar in pronunciation. That is where the expression "human beans," comes from also. People repeating what they hear, or what they remember hearing someone else say. Unless something happens to cause a person to look into the correct name of something, that mispronunciation can go on for years and years. That is very common everywhere in this country.
Thank you again for sharing your memories and experiences with the mimosa tree. I don't think I brought out the fact that they tend to be weak trees, and that can be important when deciding where to put them.
Susie Lehto from Minnesota on August 20, 2016:
I am so glad I visited this article, because I have wanted to know the name of these "mimosa trees" for several years, ever since I first saw some. I love the leaves, and flowers, but I did not know the seeds are poisonous. I would love to have one of these in my yard now that I know the name. Thank you!
JP on August 11, 2016:
Thanks for the information on these trees.
My grandparents had several in their wood line in Western Kentucky and I used to love how they smelled. I maintain a fondness for them because they remind me of their little house, nestled in the rural area. I could have swore he called them a 'Formosa'.
My grandfather truly despised them, however, and said they could root anywhere, to include IN the shingles of the roof, inside cracks of concrete without soil, and directly next to other trees or structures.
I liked to climb but he didn't allow me to climb them, not for love of them but because he said they were really weak and I'd likely fall.
Believe you me, it may be that they don't happen to cluster in your area, but I have seen them regularly that way in McCracken County, Kentucky.
CV on July 20, 2016:
I have several mimosas in my yard, including one that started growing on its own behind my mailbox. Since the school bus regularly backed into and knocked over my mailbox, I was happy to let it grow. I need to be diligent in cutting branches that grow over the driveway or the road, but I LOVE to see the bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. My next door neighbor, on the other hand apparently believes he has the right to tell me he is going to take a chainsaw to it. The neighbor on his other side just planted a mimosa sapling in her yard and when the one neighbor came home and saw it, he went ballistic. No one is planting trees to annoy this neighbor and I haven't commented on his fricken burmuda grass taking over my lawn. I admit, it is a little annoying to have to rake up the flowers and seedpods when they fall, but the flowers are worth it.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 05, 2016:
J.Stone, thank you for sharing your experience with mimosa trees. I'm so sorry it's causing trouble, but I can imagine a mimosa wouldn't be the best choice for next to a swimming pool. I hope all my readers will take note of that so to save themselves frustrations later. Plant these trees away from your pool and away from your neighbor's pool. That's true of any trees, bushes, flowers, etc. Always think about how they will fit in the area you're planting them in later when they are full grown. Some trees and shrubs, etc., are very messy and require a lot of upkeep. That can be avoided by thinking ahead. I wish I could offer a solution other than removing the tree, but I honestly can't. I hope you and your neighbors can come to an amicable solution. Good luck.
J Stone on June 29, 2016:
my neighbor has mimosa tress....they suck!! yes you can mow them, but they grow back. then you have the stems coming back up. i can hardly walk through my backyard, without tripping over one that is growing back! i have a pool and when the flowers fall they get in the baskets and are really a pain to get out. i heard that there is suppose to be a tree that gives the mimosa a virus that kills it. don't know if that is true...would like to find out if it is, need to do something to keep those damn trees from ruining my yard and pool!!!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on October 20, 2015:
Peggy W., thank you for commenting, and for sharing this hub! Glad you are enjoying some cooler temps too!
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on October 19, 2015:
For people wishing to learn about different types of trees, this is a great article about the Mimosa trees. Sharing once again. They are so decorative! Enjoy those cooler temps up in your part of the state. We are certainly enjoying them here in Houston.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 23, 2015:
Allyn Lapeska, appreciate your dropping by and sharing your thoughts. However, I don't understand what a "volunyeer tree" is, nor can I imagine why anyone would want to kill these beautiful tees.
Mimosa trees used to blossom profusely every spring in my North Texas town, but this year I haven't seen a singe mimosa in blossom. I'm wondering what has happened to them. If they are, as some people have suggested, such a nuisance, where have they gone?
I do not understand why some people consider this beautiful tree invasive. It was always a fairly common part of spring here, but now it seems to have disappeared. I look forward to seeing them and smelling their heavenly scent every spring, but this year, no blossoms. I haven't' seen a single mimosa in blossom this year, and I spend a lot of time driving around this city.
Allyn Lepeska on July 23, 2015:
For all the good comments, they are very difficult to kill especially if you have a volunyeer tree that you want to eliminate.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on May 10, 2015:
Vocalcoach, thank you for reading and commenting on this article and for the votes, share, and such high praise! I've lived with mimosa trees for 28 years and I have never known them to be invasive. Some people seem to think they are, but I have seen no sign of that here in North Texas.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on May 09, 2015:
Shyron, thank you for sharing this article and for the votes. Hope all is well. Blessings . . .
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on May 08, 2015:
Poetryman6969, thank you for stopping by. I love these trees and they grow here, but I have never seen any sign of them being invasive.
Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on May 07, 2015:
It's good to learn that the Mimosa tree can be invasive. I didn't know this. Your photos are just gorgeous and along with the information you've provided this hub is a winner! Voted up and across and will share.
Shyron E Shenko from Texas on May 07, 2015:
I am back to read about this beautiful tree again and share with the new comers that may not have seen this.
Voted up, UABI and shared
Hope all is well with you.
Blessings and hugs.
poetryman6969 on May 07, 2015:
I had never heard that this can be a threatening, invasive species. Thanks for the info.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on February 27, 2015:
Patricia (pstraubie48), thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts on this article! I didn't know about the dangers of this tree either until a reader left a comment about it and I researched it and found it to be true. I still love them. They are so beautiful and smell so fantastic!
Thank you too, for the votes and share and especially for the angels.
Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on February 25, 2015:
When I saw the title I went "O, NO not something I don't want to know about these gorgeous plants." But alas there is. I did not know this. We had an abundance of them in our yard in Virginia and have them here as well. I had NO idea they could be harmful.
I will be sharing this, Aufait.
It is important for everyone to be aware.
Angels are on the way to you this afternoon ps
Voted up++++ and shared
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on February 01, 2015:
DeborahDian, thank you for reading and commenting on this article. It is only the seedpods that are dangerous if put in one's mouth. The trees are not dangerous and the seedpods last for only a short while. Rake them up and dispose of them, or plant them and have more beautiful mimosas.
Deborah Carr from Orange County, California on January 29, 2015:
I love mimosa trees, but I did not realize they were dangerous. Thanks for letting us know!
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on October 17, 2014:
Mila, thank you for reading and commenting on this article. I love mimosas too! So glad you stopped in and shared your thoughts! :)
Mila on October 13, 2014:
Please don't be jealous just because mimosa trees are SO BEAUTIFUL !!!! I love all species of mimosa trees they're so gracious. Especially ones with yellow flowers - smell heavenly & first ones to bloom early in the spring right in the beginning of a March. Mimosa with pink flowers blooming in the middle of hot summer days & it's gorgeous canapé providing us with much needed shade. I have always admire of it's tropical looks like beauty. I love them so much that three-years ago I did even planted myself one young (pink flowers) mimosa tree by the way sprouted itself from a seed in my garden & than I did transplanted it to one of a sidewalk tree peat that was empty & available on my street where I live at in Manhattan N.Y. since than i keep watching it grow, taking care of it, watering etc. I decided to introduce mimosa tree here for everybody to see, enjoy & appreciate its beauty for many years to come. Let this kind of beauty to be invasive I don't mind that. Always will love them no matter how much people are trying to discourage others from planting mimosa.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on September 28, 2014:
Sujaya Venkatesh, thank you for stopping by. The mimosa has no thorns.
C E Clark (author) from North Texas on September 27, 2014:
Diane Ayers, thank you for stopping by. There are a couple of close-ups of mimosa flowers in this article. If those are not to your liking you can always go to Google Images and search there. Good luck!