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Old 07-08-2009, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Summerville, SC
394 posts, read 881,442 times
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I read an article about heirloom gardening a few years back and they mentioned Mimosa trees as being one of those rare species that you don't see much anymore. At the time, I agreed. However, after moving to coastal SC, I see them all over my neighborhood. I love it!

I often find little ones sprouting up in the most unlikely places such as at the base of pruned azaleas, etc. I leave the ones alone that are in a place where they can grow without being disturbed and where I would want a future tree.

Does anyone else see Mimosas often and what can you tell me about your experience with them? My grandmother in Ky had one planted right up against her home and it did very well there but here they grow like weeds in unsheltered places.

I'd love to have a few when we move to SW Virginia - any thoughts?
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Old 07-08-2009, 03:26 PM
 
593 posts, read 2,498,509 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by In the Pines View Post
I'd love to have a few when we move to SW Virginia - any thoughts?
They are on the do-not-plant list for Virginia.
Mimosa (silk tree) is a catagory I invasive species.
They may be illegal to sell or cultivate in Virginia. I am not familiar with laws there.

Part of being a responsible gardener and good steward of the land, is to refrain from planting invasive species that have escaped cultivation and cause ecological damage to your area.

You know how they are sprouting up in your azaleas? Well they are sprouting up in natural areas and choking out native plants the same way.
There is nobody in the natural areas to pluck out all the unwanted seedlings and all of their eventual offspring.
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Old 07-08-2009, 04:02 PM
 
Location: A little suburb of Houston
3,702 posts, read 15,931,560 times
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Fortunately they have a rather short lifespan of 15 -20 years.
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Old 07-08-2009, 05:18 PM
 
Location: Summerville, SC
394 posts, read 881,442 times
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Invasive how? Like Kudzu invasive or like any other tree in my hot humid climate invasive? I also find red oaks, pines, and magnolias under every azalea bush or potted plant in my yard. I haven't seen any warnings from our extension services regarding mimosas and from what I've read about them, they don't seem to spread seeds faster than other trees in my area. I have, however, seen write-ups about heritage gardening clubs that swap Mimosas.

According to what I have read, they can do well in areas like Virgina as long as rainfall is sufficient and they attract butterflies and hummingbirds. They seem perfectly suited to the responsible gardener who believes in weeding and who xeriscapes suitable to his or her environment. I enjoy weeding and must do so all the time so why not pull up a few more mimosa shoots and enjoy the butterflies. As far as natural areas - no one maintains the many acres of woods and semi woods surrounding my neighborhood but if you take a walk back there, you don't see any Mimosas so they aren't spreading very far. Is there more than one species?



In the five years I've lived in my house, I haven't seen a neighbors Mimosa overtake the yard or harm any surrounding plant life. But... I live in a jungle... everything is invasive here.

I'll check with the extension service in Virgina about a do-not-plant list. Interesting...
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Old 07-08-2009, 07:14 PM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
9,491 posts, read 13,353,236 times
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http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_...ts/invlist.pdf
I'm right on the Virginia border, so I thought this was interesting. I'm surprised by some of the plants on the list. Norway Maple? Who knew?
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:09 PM
 
Location: Floribama
13,508 posts, read 29,464,086 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by In the Pines View Post
Invasive how? Like Kudzu invasive or like any other tree in my hot humid climate invasive?
They're native to Asia but yet they reproduce here with no problem, that's what makes them invasive. They take up space that native plants could be using.

Personally I call them "ghetto palms" and I think they look trashy in the yard of a nice home, but that's just my opinion (ride around affluent neighborhoods, you won't see Mimosas because landscapers get rid of them). I rip them up every chance I get.
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:12 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
2,932 posts, read 6,718,083 times
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The mimosa tree grows like a weed here as well. The flowers are nice, but its invasive tendencies are quite annoying. The difference between the oaks/pines/gums/maples you see popping up in your yard and the mimosas is that the mimosa is not native...which makes them invasive.
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:41 PM
 
593 posts, read 2,498,509 times
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If you want a substitute for mimosa.. In NC or VA, in the same family as mimosa but native... Black Locust. There is a cultivar caled purple robe, it's technically a hybrid. It's far from a problem-free tree but it has the same type of foliage and showy,fragrant flowers.

Another tree that has similar foliage is Thornless Honeylocust. It's a common shade tree. It doesn't have showy flowers but it does have show fall foliage.

These will be easier to find in garden centers.

If you want to keep it in the same family and have showy blooms but not the fern-like foliage, there's yellowwood which is fast becoming a popular shade tree.
Sourwood is a native summer blooming tree also popular as an ornamental.

And yes, Mimosa is invasive like kudzu only kudzu is a vine and mimosa is a tree.
Not all exotics are bad but the ones that escape cultivation do cause damage.
They spread via the 3 W's.
Wind: Wind spreads the seeds and the pollen too.
Water: Seeds can float down a stream or river for miles and miles, wash ashore and germinate.
Wildlife: Birds and other critters eat the seeds and poop them out far away from the parent tree.

The ones that become problematic are usually not particular about site and are aggressive growers, displacing or even choking out native plants resulting in less biodiversity. Some of them (like norway maple) are even alleopathic, releasing a chemical into the soil that prevents other plants from growing near it.
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Old 07-08-2009, 11:58 PM
 
Location: In a van, down by the river.... LOL
21,338 posts, read 7,358,321 times
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We just lived through a thread on Mimosa trees last week....

Mimosa tree
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Old 07-09-2009, 12:07 AM
 
20,187 posts, read 12,831,584 times
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Mimosa Trees

I think they are a beautiful tree. My parents had one in their yard and only one. They didn't take over. I love the blooms and they smell so nice.
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