Evergreen Magnolia Grandiflora-a good choice?

Discussion in 'Garden Design and Plant Suggestions' started by Chloris, Jun 9, 2007.

  1. Chloris

    Chloris Member

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    Vancouver, B.C.
    I would like to plant an evergreen Magnolia Grandiflora in my zone 7/8 Pacific Northwest garden. The space I have in mind is along the fence bordering the neighbour's house (I'd like to screen it). The potential planting spot is in a raised southwest facing sunny bed with good, well-drained soil. My backyard garden near this area has tender exotics- musa basjoo (hardy banana), palms, new zealand flax, etc. I'd like the tree to grow 25-30 feet tall and about 20 feet or so wide to screen the neighbour's house and to complement my "exotics" theme. What particular cultivar should I plant? Does anyone have any other suggestions for exotic evergreen screens? (not bamboo) How cold-hardy are the grandifloras? I lost 2 eucalyptus this winter.
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Try 'Victoria'. Probably get bigger eventually, but not for a long time.

    Note that this species drops litter for months, if that would bother you maybe consider something else.
     
  3. alex66

    alex66 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I have Gallissonnière is piramidalys as well for your conditions but is more exotics Davidia Involucrata white flowers and hardy is the queen of my garden for ever greenscreens Camelia Sinesins (tea plant)or Sasanqua ,you prefer topary forms?
     
  4. Dave-Florida

    Dave-Florida Active Member

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    There's a lot of cultivars of Magnolia grandiflora and some may be of greater or lesser hardiness. The species thrives along the Gulf and southern Atlantic coasts (Jacksonville, Florida has monsters with long, straight trunks because this tree will grow straight up in the shade of a live oak, then build its own canopy once it's up in th sun).

    Portland, Oregon, where I lived several years, has large magnolias, but none quite that size. Tokyo's Rikugi-en garden has at least two big magnolias (as does at least one temple in Kyoto-they've really been adopted as "native" in Japan).

    Of course there's lots of smaller-growing cultivars on the market. People like their magnolias the size and shape of large-ish Christmas trees.

    Here's a distribution map. The tree does well at least as far north as Washington, DC (I think there's some around the White House).
    http://www.efloras.org/object_page.aspx?object_id=5325&flora_id=1
     
  5. Dave-Florida

    Dave-Florida Active Member

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    RonB is right about litter. The big leaves and the cone-like fruiting structures are particularly annoying.

    The Davidia at Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden in Portland is magnificent.
     
  6. Chloris

    Chloris Member

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    If the Magnolia Grandiflora species drops a lot of litter, it may not be a good idea as the neighbour's house and side yard walk is just on the other side of my the fence. Another possibility is planting a Fastia Japonica. I have 2 very healthy specimens in semi-shade, but this spot gets a lot of afternoon sun. How much sun can the Fatsia Japonica tolerate?
     
  7. bctahitianfruit

    bctahitianfruit Active Member

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    Location:
    powell river,bc
    I have a huge fatsia japonica in my yard that was here when we bought. It's over 12 foot tall and 12 foot wide or more and has been cut back vigorously in the last 10 years. It is in full all day sun and does amazing!
     

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