Silk tree in small back yard

Discussion in 'Small Space Gardening' started by Keyzer, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. Keyzer

    Keyzer Member

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    Two years ago I planted a silk tree (mimosa) in my small back yard. This year it is growing so fast and had many gorgeous blooms. I love the tree, but my husband is concerned about its growth rate. Is it easy to control its size and does anyone know if its roots are aggressive? Will they lift up my patio pavers, which are only a few feet away? Thanks
     
  2. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    you can keep the size in check by doing regular prunings.

    i don't know what kind of damage is possible by the roots or what their spread is...

    i do know that, once established, this tree is virtually impossible to get rid of - they'll readily regrow from a stump. so, that regular pruning i mentioned? you can literally take it down to a two-foot high trunk each year and it'll regrow in spring. you don't have to go THAT drastic, though. heavy pruning of the branches each year should be more than sufficient to keep it at a reasonable height/diameter.
     
  3. Keyzer

    Keyzer Member

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    Thanks Joclyn. It's good to know I can be quite aggressive with the pruning. How is the weather in Philly?
     
  4. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    you're quite welcome!!

    i learned about it because one showed up in the neighbors yard - and was growing through into mine. trying to help him out (very old, older man) because the family didn't do much, i tried to keep the weeds at the back of the yard under control. i've chopped that thing back every year and that hasn't stopped it one bit!! taking it to ground level did - only for that one year and then it was back full-force :)

    i'll go take a look at it tomorrow and see if i can determine what the roots are doing - try to give you some idea of what to expect with regard to your pavers.

    it's just getting hot/humid here now. it's been a generally cooler than usual summer here, this year. not too rainy and very little humidity either (was very bad last year and from june onward, which is unusual here). i can't believe it's august already though!! went by far too fast!!

    how's it up there? cooler than usual like it's been here?
     
  5. Keyzer

    Keyzer Member

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    Actually we have had an unusually warm summer, with very little rain. It was so hot for about a week, that we had to sleep in our basement to escape. There are a lot of spiders down there, so you know we were desperate! All in all, we can't complain.
    Maybe that's why my tree is growing like crazy. I am actually thinking about taking it out and planting it on my dad's property. He has over 2 acres. Too bad it is a pretty tree and the birds love it.
     
  6. Charles Richard

    Charles Richard Active Member

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    Hi Keyzer,
    I had read your post a couple of days ago and did not reply. We have had a Silk Tree in our front yard for about 14yrs now and it is quite large. We do a major pruning on it every year to maintain its size. This has never been a problem for it as 'Joclyn' has said. We have it under planted with a flower bed and everything grows remarkably well (gives nice filtered light).
    They tend to grow a very wide canopy. My parents neighbours have one and I watch its growth when I go over. It is in a very gravely site and I do not believe that it gets much water at all. I have never seen it pruned back hard and yet it does not seem to get that much taller, just wider.
    How big is your back yard area? We have not noticed any disturbance from roots or have found it to be a problem for the other plant material under it.
    Sorry to ramble.
    It is one of our favorite trees.
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Hot climate tree that is not the weed out here that it is in eastern areas.

    "Established trees generally need no pruning, but in colder climates frost-damaged growth may need removing in spring. A. julibrissin tolerates pruning to restrict size: cut back last year's growth to four or five buds, or 3-4in (7-10cm) of the old wood. It can also be pollarded; if renovating this way, new shoots must be carefully selected to recreate a branch framework"

    --Brickell/Joyce, The American Horticultural Society - Pruning & Training (DK)
     
  8. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    They are controllable whether you hire, or do it yourself.

    Check into a root barrier panel like for trees or bamboo to insert in the ground about 12" outward from your pavers. For the roots that is.
     

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