Over the years travelers have brought back interesting plants from all over the world. Some plants are brought back because of their beauty. Other plants are brought to the U.S. to serve a purpose like roadway stabilization as in the case of Kudzu. Often these exotic plants from overseas become problematic. They can take over the local habitat in ways that are not foreseen and gradually push out other plants that should be growing there. One such plant is the Mimosa tree. Mimosa (Albizia julibrissin) is a small tree that originally came from China and was brought as a landscape tree.
The mimosa tree was brought to the U.S. in 1745 and is still sought after today because of the beautiful fuzzy pink flowers that emerge in the summer. The problem is that these trees produce seeds that get widely distributed and displace native plants. Invasive plants reduce the normal forage food for insects and birds and can change the local ecology significantly. While it may be nice to look at invasive plants like the Mimosa tree should be removed whenever possible to reduce the spread of more invasive plants.
Mimosa can grow up to 40 feet tall and has a fast growth rate of 3 feet per season. If you see seedlings pull them immediately. Established trees are harder to remove and need to be cut down. They will sucker from the stump and will need cut back until all their energy is expended. The photos in this post are in a park nearby and not in my garden fortunately!