Sometimes a certain plant just doesn’t grow right where it’s located and needs to be moved. Other times, a plant may quickly outgrow a landscape. Either way, moving a plant from one site to another can cause stress, or even death, if not done properly. Fast growing mimosa trees can quickly outgrow an area. While the average 25-foot (7.5 m.) height of one mimosa tree doesn’t sound that hard to fit into the landscape, mimosa trees seed profusely, and one mimosa tree can quickly turn into a stand of mimosa trees. Continue reading to learn about properly moving mimosa trees and when to transplant a mimosa tree.
Many times, mimosa trees are planted as specimen plants in landscape beds near a home or patio. Their sweet-smelling flowers bloom in midsummer and then form into long seed pods that disperse seeds everywhere. As we get busy with other things in the garden in late summer and fall, it’s easy to overlook the seeding habits of mimosa until the following year when seedlings pop up all over.
With its adaptation to almost any soil type, tolerance of full sun to part shade, and quick growth rate, your one specimen mimosa can quickly turn into a thicket of mimosa. While this may be fine for a windbreak or privacy screen, a dense stand of mimosa can take over a small landscape bed. In time, you may find yourself needing to move mimosa trees to a location where they can be allowed to grow and seed densely.
Timing is important when transplanting a mimosa tree. Like any tree, mimosa trees are easier to transplant the younger they are. A small sapling will have a much greater survival rate if moved than an older, more established tree. Sometimes, it is necessary to move a bigger tree, though. Either way, safely transplanting a mimosa tree will take a little prep work.
Established trees should be transplanted in late fall to early winter after all the leaves have fallen off and gone dormant. Small saplings can be dug up in spring and potted to give away to friends or family, or until a proper site is selected.
First, select the new site for the mimosa. This area should have well-draining soil and be full sun to part shade. Pre-dig the hole in which the mimosa will be going. The hole should be twice as wide as the root ball you will be placing in it, but no deeper than the tree is presently growing. Planting any tree too deeply can cause root girdling and improper root development.
Oftentimes, arborists will recommend digging a hole slightly deeper than the plant’s root ball, but then creating a small mound of soil in the center for the root ball to sit upon so that the tree itself is not planted any deeper than it should be, but the horizontal roots are encouraged to spread out and down into the deeper area of the hole.
Once your site and planting hole are prepared, place a wheelbarrow filled halfway with water and a transplanting fertilizer, like Root & Grow, next to the mimosa tree you are digging up. Depending on the size of the tree you are moving, with a clean, sharp spade, start digging about a foot to two (0.5 m.) out from the base of the tree.
An older, larger tree will have a larger root system and will need more of these roots intact to survive the move. A clean, sharp spade will help easily cut through these roots while not damaging them too badly and reduce transplant shock. Established mimosa trees can have long, thick taproots, so it may be necessary to dig down around the tree up to 2 feet (0.5 m.) to get a good portion of this taproot.
After digging up the mimosa tree, place it in the so you can easily move the tree to its new location in the landscape. Place the mimosa tree in the prepared, new hole. Be sure that it will not be planted any deeper than it previously was going. Add soil under the root ball, if necessary, to raise it. Fill the area around the roots with soil, gently tamping it down to prevent air pockets. Once the hole is refilled with soil, dump any leftover water and rooting hormone in the wheelbarrow onto the root zone.
It will be necessary to water your newly transplanted mimosa tree daily for the first week. Do not use any fertilizer until spring. After the first week, you can water the tree twice a week for the next two weeks. Then drop down to a good, deep watering once per week. When watering any newly planted tree, you should give it about a twenty minute, slow trickle of water for deep watering. Once a mimosa tree is established, they can tolerate drought and will require very little watering.
Dig up any small sucker plants growing from the base of larger trees and plant in the same manner as above.
Mimosa trees make beans. Soak the beans in warm water overnight after they have fallen from the tree and plant them in containers.
Check with your state on rules regarding digging up trees from roadsides and riverbeds. It is illegal in many states to dig up mimosa in these areas.
Mimosa trees are a regular sight in the south, growing in yards and found wild along roadsides and riverbanks. This tree does not do well in the north unless it is container-grown in a greenhouse. Transplanting a mimosa can be tricky because the variety is finicky. A mimosa itself is beautiful--and its leaves fold in when you touch them, making them a favorite distraction among children.
Determine the area where you will transplant the mimosa. Make sure the area receives at least six hours of sunlight a day. Mimosa prefers soft, damp soil. It is not possible to transplant large trees of 10 feet or more because mimosa has a deep taproot. If your mimosa is more than 10 feet, it is better to plant the seeds from the existing tree.
Dig a hole as deep as possible with the shovel aim for at least 2 feet. Amend the loose soil with a nitrogen-rich commercial fertilizer. Have this hole ready because a mimosa must be moved quickly once it has been removed from a container or from the ground. If you delay planting, the finicky mimosa will likely die.
Dig up the mimosa from its current location, making sure you dig deep enough to get the entire taproot.
Dig your transplant hole deeper, if necessary, once you see how long the taproot is.
Replant the mimosa in the new location by holding it up so that the taproot is straight. Have someone else replace the amended soil into the hole until the base of the tree is level with the top of the ground. Pack the dirt firmly to remove any air bubbles and to support the weight of the tree.
Water the ground well to saturate the root ball and taproot. Give the mimosa tree enough water to keep the soil damp until it is established or until you see new growth at the top juncture of the leaves. At this point, cut the watering back to once every three days. The mimosa will grow rapidly and you should see new blooms after the second year.
Timing is important when it comes to transplanting: transplant too early in spring and your plants may succumb to frost, transplant too late and your plants may get baked in the sun (and the opposite is true in autumn). In any case, it’s important to pay attention to local weather conditions.
When the weather looks like it’s taking a turn for the better, start getting your garden and the plants ready:
Finally, it’s time to transplant!
Check out this video to learn how to take your seedlings from potting tray to garden plot, step by step.
What tips do you have for transplanting seedlings? Let us know in the comments!
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What happened here? I bought a Summer Chocolate Mimosa sapling a few years ago. The first summer after planting it was a beautiful deep chocolate color. The next summer, same thing, but 1 branch stayed bright green. Each year the green spread, until last year when half of the tree was green and half chocolate. Same thing this year.
This is what's known as a "reversion". Summer Chocolate Mimosa is likely a hybrid which has the special characteristic of chocolate colored leaves, but it still has the genetic potential to produce green leaves. The branches with the green leaves have "reverted" and begun expressing the green-leaf genes. If you want to restore the chocolate color, prune out all the green-leaf sections, since reversions will typically grow more vigorously than the rest of the plant.
Unfortunately, the tree produces numerous seed pods that are trashy in the landscape when they fall. The tree harbors insect including webworm and a vascular wilt disease that eventually causes the trees death. Although short-lived (10 to 20 years), Mimosa is popular for use as a terrace or patio tree for its light shade and tropical look but also produces a honey-dew drip on property underneath.
The trunk, bark, and branches can be a major problem in the landscape. Its trunk bark is thin and easily damaged from mechanical impact. Branches on mimosa droop as the tree grows and will require pruning for vehicular or pedestrian clearance beneath the canopy multiple trunks. Breakage is always a problem with this multi-trunked tree either at each crotch due to poor collar formation, or the wood itself is weak and tends to break.
The litter problem of the blooms, leaves, and especially the long seed pods requires consideration when planting this tree. Again, the wood is brittle and has a tendency to break during storms though usually, the wood is not heavy enough to cause damage. Typically, most of the root system grows from only two or three large-diameter roots originating at the base of the trunk. These can raise walks and patios as they grow in diameter and makes for poor transplanting success as the tree grows larger.
Unfortunately, Mimosa vascular wilt is becoming a very widespread problem in many areas of the country and has killed many roadside trees. Despite its picturesque growth habit and its beauty when in bloom, some cities have passed ordinances outlawing further planting of this species due to its weed potential and wilt disease problem.
Silk tree has showy and fragrant pink flowers that are just over an inch long. These lovely pink flowers resemble pompoms, all of which are arranged in panicles at the ends of branches. These beautiful flowers appear in abundance from late April to early July creating a spectacular sight that enhances its popularity.
These flowers are the perfect color pink, they have a pleasant fragrance and are very attractive during spring and summer flowering. They can also be a mess on property under the tree.
The abundant fern-like leaf also adds a bit of magic and is unlike many, if any, of the North American native trees. These unique leaves make Mimosa popular to use as a terrace or patio tree for its light-filtering effect with "dappled shade and a tropical effect". Its deciduous (loses its leaves when dormant) nature allows the sun to warm during cold winters.
These leaves are finely divided, 5-8 inches long by about 3-4 inches wide, and alternate along the stems.
Last May, it was quite large, beautiful, and blooming. The branches were so full, they leaned low over my guests standing on my deck.
Several people lifted the branches up over their heads to walk under them.
This spring, the tree did not produce any leaves. The bark is peeling (but is this characteristic of a normal plant?).
Although I know the mimosa is very sensitive to touch, and often drops its leaves, I wonder if this tree is actually dead.
I want to cut down several known, dead trees in my backyard. I'd like to cut this one down, too, but I am unsure as to whether it is dead or not. It is in a beautiful location.
The description you provide does not give much hope as far as I can tell. The plant should have leafed out long ago. You might try scraping back the bark on some small branches to see if there is any green healthy tissue underneath. Also bend the small branches to see if they are still supple or if they have become dry and brittle. There is little you can do even if it is still alive except water during extended drought spells.
There are several possible causes of a mimosa tree's demise so it is difficult to speculate. Your County Extension Office may also be able to evaluate the current condition of the tree and perhaps suggest some possible causes.