Mimosa Mystery


This is what the mimosa tree used to look like.
It always leafs out later than any other tree on the farm, but it leafs out. From the branches. Like a normal tree. This year, this is what the mimosa tree looks like.

It’s like all the main branches are dead. It’s leafing out from the trunk. It’s starting to look like a big bush. Anybody have any idea why it’s doing that? I’m thinking it’s diseased/dying and that it needs cut down……..

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on June 18, 2015  

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12 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 6-18

    When Mimosa trees get older, they very often get a disease & die. I’ve seen it happen to every mimosa tree I’ve ever seen that got old enough. It’s very sad, because they are such a pretty tree. The hummingbirds love the flowers which smell so heavenly. One should never plant a Mimosa as a focal point in their yard because this is what is going to happen. Better to have them and know you will lose the tree eventually. sorry for the bad news. :cry:

  2. 6-18

    I just know that they are pretty to look at. Sorry yours is not doing well.

  3. 6-18

    Suzanne –

    This may help you determine what’s wrong with your tree.


    It sounds like they’re short-lived.

  4. 6-18

    Lots of mimosas do that. The main trunk seems to die but shoots spring up. Mine has been like this for 30 some years. It will also send runners everywhere

  5. 6-18

    The one in the neighbors yard got cut down to the stump, but now it’s growing again…and multiplying. 2 more have sprouted on the bank by the railroad track. Seems to be un-killable.

  6. 6-18

    To me, the new growth looks lush and healthy. My guess would be that it took a hit from the cold, or an untimely frost this past winter. You can cut the dead limbs off, they are obviously not going to produce new growth, or just leave them be if they don’t bother you, it won’t be long before the new growth hides them!

  7. 6-18


    There is a nasty wilt that decimates mimosa. I had 4 or 5 in my yard in South Louisiana – all died in a year. Every mimosa in Baton Rouge seemed to die in 1995.

  8. 6-18

    Many people have told me it was the cold this past winter. Bamboo also died everywhere. My butterfly bushes suffered as well

  9. 6-18

    Sounds like winter kill to me. All of my mother’s rose bushes and 1 of my lilacs did the same thing this year. Cut out the dead and it should fluff back up in a year or so and look nice again. I’ve seen this happen with other trees/shrubs before too. I’m blaming our crappy winter…

  10. 6-18

    Suzanne, just email or call the WVU Core Arboretum specialist. He can probably tell you what to do to care for the tree. The info is here: http://diyoutdoors.wvu.edu/hiking/arboretum.

  11. 6-19

    Cold is likely the culprit. We lost a lot of decorative landscaping plants this year. Now that everything is lush and green, it is a shock to see the large stands of dead bamboo. I didn’t think anything killed that stuff.

  12. 6-19

    No, no! Don’t cut it down! Cut back those main branches that are dead. What probably happened is a late frost/freeze/snow or early frost/freeze/snow, or possibly even heat (but I don’t think you had that problem in the east) killed the main branches. The fact that it’s coming up from the trunk means the tree is still alive, and can be pruned back to tree-shape eventually.

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