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Acacia dealbata winter damage - SW London

Hello all, hoping for some advice (and hope)! I planted this Acacia Dealbata wattle/mimosa tree in my south facing garden in April 2020 - please see attached before/after photos.... For the last 3 years it had grown beautifully, was flowering each year, and had reached 6-7m height with a healthy thick green trunk. After being away for Xmas, and the freezing/extended cold snap that also hit SW London along with everywhere else, I came back to this much sadder sight in mid January. Most of the leaves have shed (for the first time ever in a Winter), all the branches are splitting and are now starting to discolour to a lighter red/brown from the ends in. There is no signs of new shoots from any branch, and when I scrape the trunk in various heights, no "green" is revealed, just a pale brown wood. Does anyone think this may come back to life, given it's now mid March (although temps have stayed cold, not as bad as it was over Xmas/New Year with -5,-6 etc)? I know these are semi-hardy and wouldn't survive -10 but I don't think we got that low in SW London. If recommendation is to prune it back very hard to try and find where it still might be alive, how low should I go - I can't imagine any new shoots growing from the base of the trunk but really don't want to give up on it if there's a chance of it coming back to life, it's very special to me! However, if it has had its day, I also don't want to miss the Spring/Summer chance to try and get something new establised in its place. Thanks in advance for any help/suggestions.


  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze Posts: 3,499
    edited 14 March
    I cannot tell you about pruning but I did see one growing locally under glass in flower only yesterday. I have also seen them growing in the South of France at this time of year but in Northern France it may be too cold. We have just had one of the coldest wet Winter in years.

    'Tis sweet to visit the still wood,where springs. The first flower of the plain. Longfellow.
  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 13,253
    Sorry, but it sounds dead.
    There are ashtrays of emulsion,
    for the fag ends of the aristocracy.

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze Posts: 3,499
    @Nollie @Obelixx or @Busy-Lizzie may see this thread and be able to offer their thoughts but I do think @punkdoc is right I am sorry to say.

    'Tis sweet to visit the still wood,where springs. The first flower of the plain. Longfellow.
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 20,914
    I'm afraid I agree with punkdoc. This winter has been too cold for it. Acacia Dealbata is not usually hardy in the UK. If it were we would see many more of them as they are beautiful trees. I think they come from Australia.

    My daughter lives fairly near Bordeaux in France so I see them when I visit her. I live in Dordogne a lot of the time but it's too cold for them there. I'm in the UK at the moment. It will be interesting to see if any have survived when I go to see my daughter, it has snowed  and been colder than usual.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • bédébédé Posts: 1,722
    London has some very mild microclimates, but the Mediterraneum is more the natural climate for mimosa.  I have seen mimosa killed in Nice.  
      location: Surrey Hills, England, cretaceous acidic sand.
    "Have nothing in your garden that you don't know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
  • Joyce GoldenlilyJoyce Goldenlily Posts: 2,129
    I purchased an Acacia boormanii last autumn in an attempt to have a wattle in my garden, as I love the scent and have seen them growing down here in Cornwall, indoors and outside. In the past I have tried Acacia dealbata twice and lost it to the weather so it is definitely tender. I thought my new plant was showing signs of cold damage, slight browning of the tips of the foliage but it has just burst into flower. The foliage is very different to dealbata  which has the lovely ferny silver/grey/ green colour. This plant has almost pine leaf type foliage which may make it more weather proof, I really hope so.
    I am afraid your tree looks as if it has died, what a shame. The extreme changes of weather has been so difficult for so many plants during the last 12 months.
    I would leave your tree for a few more months just to see if it shoots again, but I am always the optamist.
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze Posts: 3,499
    @Joyce Goldenlily It's always good to be an optamist when it comes to gardening.

    'Tis sweet to visit the still wood,where springs. The first flower of the plain. Longfellow.
  • floraliesfloralies Posts: 2,204
    I agree with the above, they grow well down here in southern south west France, providing it's not a prolonged tough winter. They are all in blossom at the moment.
  • thevictorianthevictorian Posts: 793
    I have an identical looking specimen in my brothers back garden. I haven't scrapped the bark yet but I don't think there is much hope. It's been there through colder weather before and not shown any signs of distress, so I do think it's a culmination of the last year's weather.
    There are two locally that are very bushy but lower than a fence and they are still healthy and flowering, apart from some frost damaged tips, so I'm not convinced it's just the cold. There are also two enormous ones locally that I haven't been passed yet and I'm curious to see how they have fared. One is the size of a small house and been there many years, even through the beast from the east.

    With ours it's being left but I'd be surprised if it resprouted, and I'd only expect that from the base.  
  • A big thank you to everyone for their response so far - they have been very helpful, even if not the news I wanted to hear! It was my first tree and it had a good, albeit short, life if this is the end - great to connect with other wattle/mimosa fans in any case. Thank you again :-)
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