Mimosa Flowers, originally uploaded by dewelch.

Another photo from our neighborhood walk a few days ago.

These are the flowers of the Mimosa tree. We have several in out neighborhood. The leaves are supposedly sensitive — if you stroke them with your hand they will begin to close up their leaves.

Unfortunately, these trees due leave quite a bit of “litter” when they drop these flowers. I have seen cars quite covered with them. You can see a few older flowers at the bottom of the picture.

Choosing Trees

Choosing trees is a bit of an art form. If they cover large portions of your lawn or house, you don’t want something that drops a large amount of debris. Our lovely, purple, jacaranda mimosafolia looks amazing, but people often complain about the cleanup. the flowers fall in to a sticky mass that covers everything beneath.

Another popular street tree here in the San Fernando Valley is Liquidambar styraciflua or American Sweet Gum tree. They provide what little Fall color we get here, but also drop these nasty seed pods everywhere. Not only are they hard to rake up, I have slipped on their hard round shapes during other neighborhood walks more times than I like to remember.

Finally, our local sycamore can be beautiful, but if you are a lawn geek, the large leaves can quickly brown patches of your grass if not raked up.

Think carefully about your environment when choosing a tree. Not only do you have to choose one that grows well in your area, but also one that brings as few problems as possible. Unfortunately, this sometimes means that we can’t have our favorite trees, but that is probably better than coming to hate a tree you used to love because it doesn’t fit in your current situation.

What are your favorite trees? Your least? Tell us you tree stories in the comments or on the AGN Facebook Page.