Beautiful, but messy and invasive
Such exotic shadows. You might think this a scene from a tropical paradise or a garden of the Far East. No, these leaf shadows were seen on the door of my funny little garden shed right here in central Kentucky. They are the shadows of mimosa leave.
The mimosa (Albizia julibrissin) tree truly is beautiful. Besides these interesting fern-like pinnate leaves, they have fragrant pink blooms for a long period of time in mid-summer. The flowers are much enjoyed by hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees.
These are the sorts of things that make people think they want a mimosa tree in their yard. Think twice before making such a decision! Please -- take my advice seriously. I know this tree well, and here are the reasons I don't like it.
1. It is a messy tree. The long stems of its leaves and its long seed pods have to be raked up.
2.It is an excessively prolific tree -- in other words, invasive. Little mimosa trees pop up in every flower bed, and if not caught right away, they very quickly establish themselves and grow big. That's why I have mimosa leaf shadows on my shed. This tree is growing in a bed of perennials.
3. It is a short-lived tree. Its average lifespan is 10 to 20 years.
4. It is a weak tree. Its brittle wood is easily broken in weather events like ice storms and high winds.
5. It is not a native tree of the Americas. It is originally from Asia. I prefer native trees.
Bottom line: Plant one if you must. But when the problems begin, don't say you weren't warned.