How to Prune a Silk Tree


Silk trees are also called mimosa trees or silky acacia. They are a favorite among gardeners because of their beautiful hot pink flowers and hardiness. They grow in full sun to light shade, can thrive in most soil types and even tolerate drought. The species grows to about 25 feet high. One negative of the silk tree is that the wood is weak and brittle, which causes it to break accidentally. Pruning silk trees will create a better shape and keep them healthy.

Step 1

Clip all but one stem when the silk tree is young to force it to grow into a single-stem tree. Allow several stems to grow if you want a multi-trunk tree.

Step 2

Pruning carefully, shape the silk tree so it has a flat top. Without pruning, it will look more like a shrub.

Step 3

Cut off the previous season's growth each spring. Limit the buds on each stem to five or six to control how large and wide the tree will become.

Step 4

Use the shears to cut dead limbs as soon as they appear. Find where dead limbs meet healthy branches and cut at the V-shaped joint.

Step 5

Control the growth of new silk trees by pulling seedlings as soon as they appear, before they're ready to flower.

Tips and Warnings

  • Silk trees drop hundreds of seeds and can be very invasive.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Clipping shears
  • Pruning saw


  • Plant Conservation Alliance
  • Fast Growing Trees Nursery
Keywords: silk tree, pruning, mimosa

About this Author

Based in New York State, Kelly Shetsky started writing in 1999. She is a broadcast journalist-turned Director of Marketing and Public Relations and has experience researching, writing, producing and reporting. She writes for several websites, specializing in gardening, medical, health and fitness, entertainment and travel. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.