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mimosa trees, really that bad?

Posted by hbwright z8a SC (My Page) on
Wed, Jun 15, 05 at 21:34

I had a neighbor with one of these and never knew her to have any problems or complaints about it. I never personally had any volunteers in my yard directly across from hers either.

I really would love to have one of these trees but wonder if they can be pruned to height and size desired or better to leave left alone. Also, how far from roses should they be planted. I have an area in mind but it is only about 10' from my roses so that may not work. I could find another place though as I really want this tree.

I do use pre-emergent on my lawn so wonder if that would help with the volunteers that most people complain about.

I'm just really curious about this tree as I love the looks and smell but a little scared to give it a try.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

I love my two momosa's. They shade the deck in summer and also the flowers draw in the hummingbirds...


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

I don't know what is sooo bad about them, I see them growing like weeds around here, but if you don't want them just dig them up,

I planted a small one in the back yard, Whats the problem?

I don't see one..


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

I've always loved mimosa's too. We had one in our backyard when I was growing up and I used to sit in it and read. BUT mimosas are quite invasive, not just in your yard but all over your neighborhood and if you have a creek nearby, the seeds can be dispersed down stream. Mimosas tend to take over areas where there has already been damage or disturbance, thus making it impossible for native species to fill back in.
http://www.invasive.org/eastern/eppc/mimosa.html


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

Mimosas are certainly beautiful trees. They draw lightning bugs like crazy. I don't know whether they draw other insects or not. They are also easy to get the blight..
Bill in SC


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

They're generally considered "trash trees" because of their short lifespan, weak wood which breaks easily in high winds, vulnerability to disease and the RAMPANT volunteer seeding they do everywhere in the neighborhood, although I find them pretty, too.

We had a big one in our yard when I was a kid, and I have a medium sized one growing partly over one of my ponds now, but like all the THOUSANDS of others that have sprung up in my yard in the past few years, it was a volunteer from the next-door-neighbor's tree, which he finally cut down a few months back.

I'm STILL pulling mimosa seedlings out of my flower beds. The seed pods aren't much of a bother anywhere there's a good growth of GRASS, but then any of you who know me know I'm doing my best to replace a lot of grass with other groundcovers and flower beds, and BOY those seedpods take advantage of EVERY SPARE BARE SPOT in the flower bed.

The last couple years, before my border bed on the fence closest to his yard got established and before he cut the tree down, I EASILY pulled up a thousand or more baby mimosas... and once they get more than a few inches tall, they're TOUGH to pull... as tough or worse than a seedling oak! I have some a foot or two high right now I'm gonna have to stump cut and apply Glyphosate to the stump.

So if you like 'em, be my guest... but do your best to collect and destroy as many of those seed pods as you can... your neighbors WILL thank you!


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

There's a long thread on the hummingbird garden forum about mimosas. Most love them for their look, aroma, and attractiveness to hummingbirds, but others point out that they are an invasive species that can quickly choke out native plants. I enjoy ours at the edge of the woods, especially because my hummers like it, but it does drop seedpods like crazy and now that I've really paid attention I can see more and more saplings. They are easy enough to control in your own yard because they are easy to pull up when very small, but, as others have said, you can't really control how far those seedpods go. Still, it's a beautiful tree and I'm not ready to chop ours down.


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

The other problem with mimosas is that they can suddenly die from vascular wilt disease. Even the wilt-resistant varieties such as "Charlotte", "Tryon", and "Union" may succumb to wilt.

If yours does get big, they can get to over 30' wide, so you wouldn't want to plant it 10' feet away from your roses. I would also recommend planting it in the lawn so you can mow all around it and get the seedlings that way.


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

My Mimosa tree has just started getting blooms (maybe 5 sofar) I planted a Mimosa years ago . Since then it has died but before dieing it took over every place that was not mowed. I like these trees but have to cut down the only big one I have because it is too close to the steeps going to my deck. If I don't cut it down , it will cause my steep to fall. I love the humingbirds and butterflys it bring to my yard.


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

Hbwright....mimosa is on the 'extremely invasive' list in South Carolina. A responsible homeowner won't plant such a tree, shrub, vine, perennial, or annual as part of their landscaping.

It's not how it affects you, but how some plants have begun to take over the ecosystems of native growth areas. It's heartbreaking to see this happen.

For more information on this tree and other plants that are on that list, call or visit your local extension office. They will have plenty of helpful info for you.


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

I do not have one because I would rather have other stuff in my small yard. I will say that they are beautiful. Many of my neighbors have them. They do put out tons of babies. I just pull them up. I do notice that not everyone does that and there are a few growing in places I am sure they were not intended. I personally feel that is not my problem if other choose not to pull up what would be condsidered a weed in their yard. I pull up many things I do not grow so they must have come from my neighbors or just weeds that show up. There is a huge one in one of my neighbors front yard. It is really beautiful! Good luck with whatever you choose to do. Eliz33


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

Well as much as I would love one of them it seems as if there are too many cons to consider it. I'd hate to be irresponsible and cause problems with my neighbors or environment and don't want to risk damage to any of my landscaping that I've worked hard on. Thanks for replies.


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

Well after reading they're on our "extremely invasive" list, I think I'll cut down even the one "volunteer" I was allowing to stay. Its main limbs are growing over telephone and cable lines, anyway.

I may wait until cooler weather, though. I'm trying to keep the HARD work to a minimum during this hot weather... don't need heat stroke.

Happy Gardening!
Jeff


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

Looking around Charlotte area, the mimosas I see tend to be on the forest edge along thoroughfares. Since they don't grow up Nawth, lotsa visitors ask what these beautiful trees are. They're not particularly tall trees and they want lots of sun so they don't do well in forests.
What does do well in forests and is incredibly invasive are Chinese elms with their gazillion seeds.
If you can get a mimosa seedling and keep it to single trunk and set it where it doesn't have to fight for sun I see no reason why you shouldn't have it in your yard if you're willing to keep after the seedlings.


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

Very good point, Dottie. Unfortunately, forested areas are not the only ecosystem types that are suffering. We need to be concerned about trying to maintain the integrity of all of them. If we don't, the natural progression of ecosystems is going to be halted.


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

I've had a mimosa growing in a large tub for about 11 years, and I keep it pruned to about 5 feet high. It's real easy to dead-head the spent flowers before they go to seed, and I don't have any problems with pods at all.


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

And dave, I think that may be the ONLY responsible way to grow it... at least in the SOUTH... I notice you're in MAINE, so this is PROBABLY NOT an issue for you there, anyway. We're in the Carolinas here, where this tree is VERY WEEDY!

I've been working in my back yard this afternoon and have pulled up probably another dozen seedlings... leftovers and newbies I'd missed, plus broke larger ones in half and stripped the bark as far down the trunk as I could, hoping that will take care of them because they're mostly in dense brush areas where I really can't deal with them until the "off season..."

But I SERIOUSLY doubt it. I got to one of the two largest... one growing by my back fence, with a trunk about 1.5" thick at the base, and tried bending it over to break it and it just bent to the ground and never broke... then I saw where the new growth was all coming from a very splintered trunk where I had obviously done that last year, or the year before... Abuse MOST trees like that and see what happens.

However, I DO believe that pretty much ANYTHING, grown in a POT, pruned and deadheaded and never allowed to go to seed should be permitted -- whether in Maine or Carolina... Of course some of us have TRIED using that same argument with water hyacinth here in SC, but it's STILL illegal here, since it's such a menace when and if it DOES get loose... a single acre in the state's largest lake a few years back grew to 500 acres in ONE SEASON!

And it isn't supposed to be winter hardy where I live, but I did a little experiment and left some out over the winter in my partly sheltered (no structures around it, it's just got trees a few feet away in a couple directions) preform pond last winter... I watched it ALL WINTER LONG and never saw the crowns go brown... sure enough, I have a pond full again, without adding any more.

Yeah, I'm breaking that law, but I'm VERY judicious with it (meaning I make DARNED SURE none of MINE gets in a public waterway)! You just CAN'T BEAT IT for a pretty, green, flowering, sweet-smelling, fast-growing, algae-clearing water gardening plant.

Of course the purists tell me that migratory birds COULD pick up seeds from the flowers after they fade and take them elsewhere, but I've never seen any seeds, nor any migratory birds in my ponds, unless you count GRACKLES, lol.

Happy Gardening!
Jeff


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

There are mimosas ALL over my neighborhood which means they are ALL over my yard. I pull them frequently but invariable miss a few and once they get any size they are a pain to pull. I have one that's medium sized but never flowers (I think it's too shady)and this year I told DH that if it doesn't flower it's gone! (If I CAN get rid of it.) I also put water hyacinth in my pond but make sure to compost them in the fall. They are still legal here in NC. I have tried to overwinter them in the pond here to see if they come back but they didn't. Closer to the coast they probably COULD though and like Jeff said (ok, I double checked this time so as to not misquote you) they do multiply really fast so if just a few survive they can become a real nuisance quickly. I have never seen the flowers go to seed either or the birds pay any attention to them. So basically I agree with Jeff that something like a water hyacinth in a small personal pond if ok to grow if done so responsibly. But a large mimosa is much harder to control because they have TONS of flowers and the seeds travel FAR. They get all the way into my backyard which is very far from any flowering mimosas. -Ais.


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

How many years does it take for a Mimosa to bloom?


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

I still believe that there is a missing link of information about Mimosas in general. The area where I grew up, as far as I know, we were one of only two people in the community that that had a Mimosa growing in our yards. After we moved away the yard where the Mimosa grew was allowed to go unchecked for several years and there was a patch of trees growing nearby that the plow later took out. But as long as the yard was mowed, there was never another Mimosa thatgrew as a volunteer on that property or even around the pond next to our property. And I have yet to see a patch of them next to any forest around here. The point I am making is that I think just using the common sense method is probably the best way to go. If your neighbor has a Mimosa growing in their yard and you don't see Mimosas springing up everywhere, then there's a reason for it. I would not plant a Mimosa over a bed where the soil is ammended to growing seedlings, any seed that falls there is going to sprout. But if your grow it in an area where you mow the grass, and its not next to a forest, I don't see what the problem is. And for those of us who love the hummingbirds, there is hardly a tree around that will draw them better than a Mimosa.

As far as pruning goes, you can prune them easily, but it will ruin the lovely natural shape of the tree the same way as pruning a dogwood tree. Just my 2 cents.


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

I love my Mimosas, their dappled shade, delicate leaves, beautiful blossoms and fragrant smell creates a welcome retreat for me, anuimals and birds on hot summer days. Their leaves remind me of the Jacquerandas in my grandmother's yard nextdoor that I loved while growing up in California.
I hang my bird feeders in my mimosas, even in the winter, and set my potted plants under them in the summer. I hang hanging baskets in them, baskets of trailing houseplants that spend the summer outdoors. Many shade loving plants do very well growing under them, like Purple Ruffles Basil, Hostas, Elephant ears, Impatiens, Caladiums, Begonias, and many more. I have star jasmine in a pot that enjoys the filter sunlight and blooms profusely for me all summer long.
The tree I planted on the southside of my house grew quickly, and thank goodness too, for our big elm died and the Mimosa now is all that shades that hot side of the house all summer. I have windchimes in this tree, and the hanging baskets in the tree out back.
They frame the house softly and are quite picturesque. I enjoy the way the wind stirs them and the sway. The honeybees and hummingbirds come to take a nip of their nectar. Have you ever tasted their nectar? The honey produced by bees from Mimosa nectar is fantazmic!
I dry the pink fluffy flowers to use in my herb crafts, as they keep most of their color and scent. They are reported to have particular "powers" for creating Romantic dreams and I use them in one of my recipes for Dream Pillow to sell.
I grew mine from seeds. The trees are now 8 years old. They are multi-trunk trees, smooth bark and cool to touch. Both are 15 - 20 ft. tall and their spread at the top is around 20-25 ft wide.
Some roses actually enjoy dappled shade. I have a couple of roses that seem to actually prefer some shade.
It is much, much drier here in Oklahoma, and our winters are cold (zone6), so they would not present as much of a threat for becoming invasive.
I LOVE MY trees and if they should die, I have 'saved' seeds to start new ones.
The most invasive tree we have here are the Elms! They make millions of seeds every spring, just after you cultivate and plant, so they drop down into nice soft, fertile, tilled soil...and they ALL GROW!
Hey, by the way, speaking of noxious plants, if anyone on here has any of those noxious and invasive Water Hyacinths, Parrot Fern, Arrowleaf, and/or Duck weed they need to thin out of their ponds, I would take it off your hands and pay for shipping and handling to help you get rid of those pesky things!
~Annie


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

Annie,
So glad to know someone who loves these trees like I do. I have tasted the nectar, and its amazingly peachy, and just to be totally honest, I can't imagine life without them. Mr. Jeff, I do think that you have an anger issue with Mimosas that you should deal with promptly!! (just kiddin)


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

I planted a mimosa mid-summer and it did very well. After a few weeks some of the bark stripped ( no real reason determined why). About a week ago (mid-Sept in MO) most of the smaller growth turned brown; while the larger limbs seemed to remain healthy looking. Is there a problem?


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

I'm hoping to get a mimosa this spring. Being in northern missouri I hope all the problems with seed pods won't be a issue. I just think they are beautiful. I have tons of hummers now one more thing for them to play with would be great. We don't see to many in our little town.
Lets see if I have all this right. I need to plant away from plumbing, not to close to neighbor's line. Do they want shade from older trees or out in the wide open spaces?

Here is a link that might be useful: my kids


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

Mimosa is listed as a Rank 1, Severe Threat by the NC Wildflower Organization, and the forestry service hates that stuff. It's a horribly invasive monster.

I personally hate mimosas with an undying religious passion. They're up there with Enlish ivy and bindweed for me.

The previous owners of this house didn't cut them down until they got very large, which means that I have mimosa stumps all over the backyard, which in turn means that they'll never die. They sucker off the stumps like lunatics, they pop up in the grass, they creep into my flower beds. They're bad, bad, bad plants.

Yes, they're pretty. Unfortunately, now that I've fought with them, I do not see them as pretty when they grow along the sides of the roads, I shake my tiny fist and scream "CURSE YOU, PLANT!" as I drive by.

Please, please, do not plant this scourge. I will get down on my knees and beg people not to plant that stuff, if it'll help. It's horrible.

If someone gave me the power to eradicate a single species in North America...I'd take out kudzu. But if they gave me TWO species...okay, Japanese stiltgrass.

But mimosa'd be third. Definitely.

(Whew. Lot of passion there. HATE that plant.)

Here is a link that might be useful: NC Wildflower Invasive List


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

lol threads about mimosa's and bradford pears never get old. just don't plant them b/c they're invasive, weak trees.


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

being pretty is not enough reason. I love them too, but wouldn't plant one here. Hey, Kudzu is pretty too, right? It was brought in as a prized ornamental. It wasn't invasive where it came from. Maybe mimosas are not invasive in some climates. But they are here.


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

Young mimosas can start blooming 4 years from seed germination.


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

They may look nice while in bloom but they leave nasties all over the yard and on other plants when they are done blooming. We had one in our back yard and I had my husband and my son cut it down and remove the stump. It was leaving those nasties on my beautiful fig tree, therefore my fig tree won. My question is regarding the sprouting of little mimosa weeds ALL OVER my yard, back and front. When researching the mimosa supposedly the seeds come from pods but the seeds look a little large considering all the sprouts that I keep pulling up. But the plant-lings that I do pull up appear to have little seeds on the back of the leaves. Am I mistaking these for mimosa's? They really do look like them. What should I do? I have tried the weed and feed stuff but that seems to burn my grass instead of killing the weeds. My yard is being taken over by these little monsters,whatever their name is. Any Advice or info would greatly be appreciated.


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

if they're in an area you can mow them, just do that. they won't survive long being mowed. it sounds like the seedlings from what you describe. the seeds are about pinky nail size. if you had a big one and are now seeing little ones, it's a safe bet that's what they are. it may take a couple of years to kill all of the seedlings, as not all will germinate together. if you miss any and they get big enough to get a taproot, pull them after a good rain. if they're too big for that, dunk clippers in roundup and nip as close to the ground as you can.


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

My mimosas grew to 10, 15, and 25 feet in height in two years- from 2 inch volunteers. The trees at 3 1/2 years of age look like they are happy at those individual heights, even though they are in almost identical sun locations. They are now just developing more branches.

The smallest one bloomed the first year. The second two bloomed in the second year. They are covered by hummingbirds all summer. I'd never plant them over flowerbeds, but as Cribscreek mentioned, mowing the area around them controls volunteers. I have one planted outside of my large sunroom windows, offering natural light filtering, shade, and a pretty view of greenery, flowers, and hummingbirds.


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Looking for a Mimosa tree

Does anyone here have a mimosa tree for sale.
If you have can you email me at solarant@yahoo.com


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

Yes, I have a mimosa for sale. But I charge $50 and you have to do the digging. I keep them planted on every single roadside in the south, so I'm sure they're within a short drive. Just send me the check first, please.

Sorry for the sarcasm--but even in Zone 6, these weed trees are on the watch lists. They're blooming now, and look very pretty...everywhere! And I mean everywhere. They're outflanked only by Tree of Heaven (Hell) in my neck of NC. Besides their invasiveness--which is the highest level in almost every Southern state--they are disease-prone, weak-wooded, short-lived, and messy to boot. Many have poor forms as well. And I personally don't believe they're as fragrant or attractive to hummingbirds as they're billed. So do yourself, your neighbors, and the native plants a favor, and don't plant this menace!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Invasive Mimosa


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

I've seen some absolutely stunning bonsai specimens so I planted a few (ended up with 20 of 20 lol)to use for bonsai practice. If successful they will never leave my back porch however.


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

In my opinion, Mimosa trees are here to stay. It's too late to stop their spread. Sure, you may not plant one in your own yard. But there are 50,000 along the roadsides for every one you choose not to plant. They're not going anywhere, and neither is Japanese Honeysuckle, Chinese Ligustrum, etc.

What's more risky (in my opinion) is planting those new and interesting exotic plants that occasionally come into the nursery trade. Who knows which of those could be the next Mimosa tree?


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

So true, bamadave. The next invasive pest plant or imported bug/fungus is just waiting to be shipped to the US (if it's not here already). I personally found that golden rain tree was quite weedy in my yard (and all my neighbors yard). I cut mine down and pulled up every one I found in my neighbors yards.

Tree of Heaven is really gaining a foothold in my little hamlet - in some areas I think that if people would strike first, we might prevent some future infestations. It is lack of action that makes it possible for these things to spread. My county arborist suggested asking the roads crew to make removing invasive plants (like these two) a priority when they are working the semi-rural areas to clear the easements. Many of the trees are in the easement anyway and these guys don't know them as any different unless we educate them.


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

Pretty...I have seen them bloom after one year. I asked a question earlier about transplanting one from my front garden to the back garden. No other mimosas in my area that I have seen, so the seedling was probably transplanted from a bird. I figure I might have one tree and deadhead the flowers, should take care of any seeds I would get.

I think if managed correctly they shouldnt spread around like the nasty kudzu and whatever kind of thorny ground vine thing I have in my yards that looks like kudzu. Yuck, this stuff is awful and thorns are like steel! I did notice the new shoots come from a ganglion type ball within the roots. I dug one up and thats what I found.

Lyle


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

That is called smilax, Lyle. I've heard the Native Americans used to eat those tuberous roots. Not all of them have the tuberous root, but it is usually the thorniest ones that do!

I doubt that you could keep up with deadheading a mimosa as it gets bigger and taller - there are one's around here that are over 30 feet tall. And then one day you will move and there it will be .... More responsible to not even get it started.


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

I have a mimosa in my yard close to my house,Are they bad for your foundations & field lines? Are they easy to kill?


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

They can be hard to kill. I find that if you dig them up and pull out as much of the roots as possible you can succeed. Their roots can be hard on driveways and sidewalks but the biggest problem is the seedlings which come up everywhere. They only work well in wide open yards where you can mow around them to keep all the seedlings chopped.


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

We finally cut our giant one last year b/c it had been lightening struck or something- had a huge split up both of the 2 main trunks. It was over 50' tall- we measured when we got it down. So they have the potential to get HUGE!! It was in the shade and the base was enormous- i think it stretched so tall to get light and compete with the oaks and poplars all around. It was also quite old- probably the grandaddy of all of the full grown ones that were in ours, the neighbors' yards and the easement behind us. Do not think you're gonna be deadheading that if you can't mow around it. One tree can equal thousands.

We haven't found them hard to kill if you hit the stumps with roundup right after you cut them. Or later, hit the suckers with it. Without roundup or something similar they just keep sprouting unless you get out all the roots (hard to do). Odd for a tree so susceptible to rots.


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

I'm in New York (Long Island). I've liked Mimosas since I first saw one at a friend's house. Like their pink flowers and "sensitivity" . I've purchased two small potted trees, both were in containers on my deck. Both died over the winter (different years). Then I saw a fairly large one (over my head-I'm five feet tall) had established itself in my fairly new rose bed. I've marked it with colored wire and hope it survives. Just proof they do exist in the Nawth.


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

I love mine and am always looking for sprouts to take its place when the wilt comes. Ours is about 15 yrs old and the only one in our very large old neighborhood. It is beautiful and creates the best shade on our large lot. In the lawn, the seedlings are mowed and never mature.

The sprouts I have to deal with come from so many huge oak trees - all kinds. How can those acorns travel so far? We only have one - which really belongs to a neighbor, but sits right on the line and shades their house in the afternoon and not ours.

And what are those mimosa-looking weeds with seeds on the underside? They spread if not attacked early since you never see a bloom and they cozy up so nicely to your own garden plants.


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

I had a mimosa with my brunch once. I don't like champagne with or without orange juice. But that's just me.


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

And what are those mimosa-looking weeds

There are plenty of mimosa-looking weeds: Chamberbitter(Phyllanthus urinaria) is one and Partridge pea is another (Chamaecrista fasciculata).


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

After you've had a couple of mimosas for brunch, you don't care what those weeds are.


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RE: mimosa trees, really that bad?

We have a good amount of them in Southern Missouri, beautiful trees. I really don't see a problem with them. Good for the hummers and some butterfly species, bees etc.

What is far worse is Monsanto GMO crops that basically kill every single honeybee around. Far far worse than a Mimosa tree, but no outcry by anyone here.

This post was edited by joeinmo on Sun, Jun 30, 13 at 12:57


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