Invasive Watch: Mimosa Trees

Silk Tree in a pasture

Knowing how to identify, treat and control invasive plant species is an important part of maintaining your position as a vegetation management expert. Stay on top of your game with this edition of Invasive Watch, which highlights the best ways to identify mimosa trees and prevent them from interfering with electrical transmission reliability and having negative effects on native ecosystems.   

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.

 

What does a mimosa tree look like?

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.

 

Where are mimosa trees found?

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:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Missouri
  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • Oregon
  • Texas

 

How can I control mimosa trees effectively?

When using TerraVue® herbicide, the following cut surface applications can be used to effectively control the mimosa tree.

Cut-stump Treatment

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.

Tree Injector Method

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.

Hack and Squirt Method

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.

Frill or Girdle Method

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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™ ® Trademarks of Corteva Agriscience and its affiliated companies. Under normal field conditions, TerraVue® is nonvolatile. TerraVue has no grazing or haying restrictions for any class of livestock, including lactating dairy cows, horses (including lactating mares) and meat animals prior to slaughter. Label precautions apply to forage treated with TerraVue and to manure and urine from animals that have consumed treated forage. TerraVue is not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Consult the label for full details. Always read and follow label directions. © 2021 Corteva.

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