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6/8/17- The Mimosa Tree

By Meaghan English, TrueSouth Properties Wildlife Specialist

“Mimosa” has become a buzz word associated with bridal luncheons and brunches and bubbly parties. Unlike the fruity breakfast drink, the tree has a quite a different connotation. Known for its pink fluffy flowers, the mimosa tree has become widespread throughout the southeast and continues to flourish. Unfortunately this species is not native to the United States and is becoming very difficult to eradicate.

Introduced from Asia around 1745, the mimosa tree or silktree (Albizia julibrissin) is a highly invasive tree that can be found throughout the Southeastern states. It stands about 50 feet tall at maturity and has very infamous leaves. The leaflets look like those of ferns and at a distance, the leaves look feathery. The crown of the tree is not round or conical; it appears to cascade or wander. In late spring through summer the tree will begin to put on bright pink, wispy flowers. These flowers are also accompanied by “bean pods” which a signature characteristic of a legume. Along with the brilliant color of the flowers and the shade the tree can provide, it quickly became a desirable ornamental for many homeowners. As the tree became more and more popular, many biologists and dendrologists began to learn of all the negative aspects of this tree. It thrives on any soil (wet or dry) and can persist in shade or in full sunlight. It is most commonly found in clumps at abandoned home sites or old fields. Worst of all, this invasive species deters wildlife from native vegetation. When the seeds from the pod emerge, they are either swept away by the wind or ingested by wildlife and later absorbed by the soil. It is best to eradicate this species from your property by any means possible. Although it is a nitrogen-fixer, it displaces native and more nutritious forage for wildlife.

Do not be fooled by the overall aesthetics of this tree! Although it is soothing to the eye, it will become a pain in your backside in no time. It is best to begin the removal process even if you only have one tree present on your property. By doing so, you are removing a species that harms the natural ecosystem and habitat in the Southeast.

 

By: Meaghan English

My name is Meaghan English, a wildlife specialist with TrueSouth. I graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Ecology and Management and I have grown up with a passion for hunting. I knew from an early age that I was not only interested in the harvesting of wildlife, but I was also very interested in their biology and management. I decided that I not only wanted to be a wildlife enthusiast, I want to be an educated wildlife specialist. I will be using that grand education as the newest member of the TrueSouth team! I will be walking tracts of land with a fine tooth comb and providing clients with information regarding wildlife habitat and wildlife abundance collected from those tracts. My job is to inform the buyer of all the wildlife species he/she is inheriting! But first, let me tell you how my “buck fever” began.
My first hunting memory flashes back to when I was six or seven years old. Like any other Saturday during deer season, my dad had told my mom to get me ready because we were going hunting. Of course I was ecstatic! I was not ecstatic about the hair bow my mom made me wear with my camouflage (she wanted everyone to know I was in fact a fashionable girl). The entire way to Perdue Hill, Alabama, my dad told me that today would be the first day I would actually shoot my first deer and I knew I was ready. We pulled up to the camp, unloaded, and fed all the “camp cats”. Before we headed to our stand, I had spotted three kittens that I simply could not leave behind so I stuffed them in my jacket. After walking what seemed like five miles, we finally made it to the “Pressbox stand” (with my smuggled kittens) and sat down. Dad continuously pestered me to be quiet, but I wasn’t that worried about shooting a deer, I had kittens! Eventually, the sun began to sink behind the trees and a spike (without olfactory senses) entered the field. When it was safe to quietly move, dad handed me the gun and I handed him my three kittens. I slowly pulled the gun up and placed my cheek against the stock. Dad told me to breathe slowly and pull the trigger when I was ready. Sure enough, I pulled the trigger and the spike hit the ground. We high-fived, exchanged kittens again, and climbed down to see the kill. It certainly was not a wall hanger, but a huge chapter in my life was started that night. My dad and I still hunt together to this day and we practice quality deer management at all times.

My ultimate goal is to provide clients with a survey of flora and fauna that currently inhabit a specific tract of land and, if desired, how to properly manage that land for the species that are found there. All feedback is greatly appreciated and I look forward to working with you!

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