The mimosa tree (Albizia julibrissin) is considered an invasive species in North America. When uncontrolled, this midsized ornamental tree can grow up to 50 feet tall, making it a threat to fall or grow into nearby power lines. Its sheer size also shades large areas, which robs low-growing shrubs and grasses of the sunlight and nutrients they need to survive. Failure to effectively control the mimosa tree can negatively impact electrical transmission reliability and impede the development of habitat for various wildlife species.
In addition to growing up to 50 feet tall, the mimosa tree (also known as a pink silk tree) can grow anywhere from 10 to 20 feet wide. Its bipinnate compound leaves feature up to 60 leaflets, which often results in a feather-like appearance. As a flowering species, the mimosa tree produces fragrant pink flowers from late spring to midsummer. Numerous flat and brown seed pods, each of which contain an average of 8 seeds, are also produced in late summer. When the pods burst, seeds are commonly dispersed by water, wind and gravity.
To fully blossom each year, mimosa trees require warmer temperatures. However, this deciduous tree is fairly drought-resistant, which allows it to thrive in a number of disturbed areas, including roadsides, utility rights-of-way, forest edges and a variety of open habitats. These trees are so adaptive that they can be found throughout the United States. Higher stem densities have been noted in the following states:
When using TerraVue® herbicide, the following cut surface applications can be used to effectively control the mimosa tree.
Apply TerraVue as a 3.5 grams per 1 gallon dilution in water. Spray the entirety of the cambium layer exposed by the freshly cut surface. Thorough application is recommended, particularly for the cambium area next to the bark.
At intervals of 3 to 4 inches between the center of each injector wound, apply TerraVue by injecting a mix of 3.5 grams per 1 gallon dilution in water. For optimum results, completely surround the tree at a convenient height.
Use a hatchet or similar equipment to make cuts around the tree trunk at any convenient height. Ensure cuts overlap slightly and make a continuous circle around the trunk. Once cutting is complete, spray 1 milliliter of diluted TerraVue (3.5 grams of TerraVue per 1 gallon water) into the pocket created by each cut between the bark and the inner stem or trunk.
At any convenient height, make a single girdle through the bark and completely around the tree. The frill should allow for the herbicide to remain next to the inner stem, which supports optimum plant absorption. Once completed, wet the cut surface with a dilution of TerraVue (3.5 grams per 1 gallon water).
Vegetation managers should be able to control incompatible vegetation without causing harm to desirable plant species. When it comes to effectively managing the land entrusted to you, having the right strategies on hand can be invaluable. To learn more about using industry best practices to enhance results for a variety of use sites, including roadsides, forestry sites and utility rights-of-way, visit VegetationMgmt.com.
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