Question: Acacia from Constantinople
Good morning, I have to choose a plant to put in the garden. I live in the province of Milan. The precise place is a fairly humid corner, sheltered from the garage, but wide. The plant will have to reach a maximum of 10 meters in height and will have to cover my garden a little from the neighbors. I thought of Albizia julibrissin. Can it be a good idea? I read that she gets sick easily and moreover I don't find her in any nursery in the area.
Answer: Acacia from Constantinople
albizzia is a beautiful medium-sized tree with a large crown and spectacular flowering; in Italy it has had long periods of great success, and it could be easily seen in gardens, but also as a street tree; a few years ago, unfortunately, a tiny insect arrived from Asia, a species of Psilla, which attacked only the albizzie, decimating them. This event was particularly intense in Lombardy and Veneto, where most of the stories were eradicated and burned, before it was possible to understand what type of insect it was and how to eradicate it. For this reason, it is very difficult today to find a specimen of albizzia, even in the nursery. It has not yet been possible to understand why this insect in Italy decides to attack only the albizzie, and it has not yet been possible to find a valid and safe method for defending the trees from this insect; therefore in general we do not recommend the use of this tree in the garden, because placing it in a home certainly means having to already prepare with insecticides or anything else to fight the small psyll.
If, however, you really like the albizzia and intend to plant it, consider that surely in late winter and early autumn you will have to spray the foliage with special insecticides.
If you intend to plant another tree, you can think of a maple, choosing it from one of the various tall trees present in the nursery; there are also some with a hair of a beautiful brown red color, or even cherry red, which certainly brighten up your repaired corner.
Very nice also the liquidambar, also also with deciduous leaves, in autumn the foliage becomes a beautiful orange red color, before falling, and on the tree there are small brown balls, the fruits full of seeds; it is a tree of modest size, which will not become a colossus.
Also very beautiful are the hawthorns, crataegus, with a beautiful white or pink bloom in spring and a rounded crown.
The catalpa is also a sapling widely used in Lombardy, a deciduous sapling, large and heart-shaped; it has a beautiful spring bloom, almost unbelievable in a tree; there is also a variety with foliage with a delicate aroma, which keeps mosquitoes away.
If the area of the garden that you have available for your tree is damp and fresh, you can also plant a willow, meager weeping, which is always a beautiful elegant tree.
Or a small hornbeam, resistant tree, with a nice small-sized foliage.