Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Wednesday Vignette: Thwarting a takeover

No, I'm not referring to the violent January 6th takeover of the US Capitol.  The attempted takeover under discussion here occurred in my garden.  It was sneaky but utterly non-violent and thankfully devoid of any political agenda or human stupidity.  The intruder was hiding in plain sight and had clearly been there for some time before I noticed.  

The fern-like plant is a seedling of Albizia julibrissin (aka mimosa tree).  It blended in well with its surroundings.  It was more than a foot tall when I finally noticed it, sitting ten or more feet from the tree we removed in late October last year.  I think I got most of its root up when I pulled it out but only time will tell.

I already knew that Albizia was a rampant self-seeder.  I've joked that I have nightmares of discovering a grove of full-grown mimosa trees on my back slope.  This seedling shows how easily they can grow, even under relatively harsh conditions.  It looked far healthier than the Agave lopantha 'Quadricolor' pup next to it on the right, which appears on the verge of collapse after more than a year in the ground.

Checking the surrounding area, I discovered a second intruder keeping a lower profile.

This one was rubbing elbows with what appeared to be Ranunculus californicus, our native buttercup, trying not to be noticed under the new Ginkgo biloba tree that replaced the diseased mimosa tree

Weeds, you have to keep your eyes open so they don't grow into trees.

For more Wednesday Vignettes, visit Anna at Flutter & Hum.


All material © 2012-2021 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

19 comments:

  1. No seedlings to worry about with your new Ginkgo. :)

    Here there's a Jacaranda coming up about the size of that first Albizia that needs to be yanked. It's in a hard-to-reach spot. Trees can be weeds, too.

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    1. It's good to know the Ginkgo's not going to present a problem!

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  2. Sneaky little devil. Trees have a tough time in our short grass prairie climate. The standing joke is that only 'trash' trees do well here which of course, means they prolifically sucker and seed.

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    1. I didn't think there was much risk of Albizia seedlings taking root with only 4 inches of rain since October (when the tree came down) but I was wrong!

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  3. Being leguminous, they can grow in the toughest places, I expect. A lot like our Robinia.

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    1. It'd be impressive if it wasn't so annoying ;)

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  4. These trees are considered an invasive in our part of the country. Still people plant them because they are pretty especially when in bloom. IF they realized they pop up in the country far away from any parent plant and take over where they land they wouldn't think them so pretty.

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    1. I think you're right, Lisa. I inherited the Albizia with the garden and had a love/hate relationship with the tree practically from the beginning. It was bare much of the year and, shortly after finally leafing out and blooming, it dropped massive amounts of litter. It was indeed pretty in bloom but whether that was worth constantly sweeping up after it and chasing down rampant seedlings was questionable even when the tree was in good shape. I regret I didn't let it go as soon as its decline began with the shot-hole borers.

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  5. Oh gosh, I almost missed this post! Found it cleaning out my Inbox a little (still far too much in it, though) and had a good laugh when I opened it up. This invasive tree is showing up in different spots in my yard, too, along with the neighbor's woods that border my property along one side. A couple of years ago I went in and cut the ones I could find but of course they have come back and I need to do it again. I need to mix up some Round Up to spray on the cuts - maybe that will help. And the little fellow at the end showed up last year all over in my largest garden area. He's back, of course, so I really need to get busy. Good luck with your visitors, Kris!

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    1. The Albizia seedlings made regular appearances when the tree was in place but I am surprised to see them still popping up more than 9 months later!

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    2. They will probably be with you forever, Kris.

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  6. I keep looking from seedlings of my chocolate Albizia julibrissin, but so far there have been none. This summer I am inching ever closer to the idea of removing this super messy tree from my small garden.

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    1. I found yet another seedling yesterday...So the question for you is: is the chocolate variety less likely to self-seed or is it that your plant is still young? I can understand the attraction - that dark foliage is beautiful.

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  7. My equivalent messy tree is the Japanese Snowbell - Styrax japonica. There are mini seedlings EVERYWHERE! (Thanks, squirrels!) The most annoying tree, ever!

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    1. As Elaine (luv2garden) mentioned, there seem to be trash trees in every climate.

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  8. Trash tree in my garden is my neighbour's Australian brush cherry. But hiking on the mountain it is often Australian wattles, easy to ID and pull when tiny. But they take their revenge when they are that bit taller and tougher!

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    1. That seems to be a general characteristic of trash trees (and other self-seeding monsters). It' a good reminder to keep a look out and pull those plants as soon as you see them.

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  9. Wise words Kris! Here sycamore and horse chestnut seedlings can become trees in the blink of an eyelid 😂

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    1. I found a 3 foot palm growing underneath a foundation shrub hedge this morning, Anna! I didn't notice it until its fronds starting poking up through the Pittosporum ;(

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