60+ year Magnolia

Discussion in 'Magnoliaceae' started by JokerGirl, Aug 2, 2008.

  1. JokerGirl

    JokerGirl Member

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    Hello,

    Been reading on this site for a while now and doing quite a bit of learning in the process. Finally decided to register and thought I would show off my old Magnolia tree.

    We acquired the house about 5 years ago, which had been a school from 1918-1931. From talking with the original owner, his parents may have planted this tree sometime around 1940. He can't remember a time in his life when it wasn't there.

    Obviously, you can tell the tree had been allowed to just grow however it would like to. I know you're not supposed to prune a Magnolia, although it would be nice to clean up the bottom a bit as you can't even see the trunk.

    I believe it's of the Saucer hybrid, but not sure on the variety. It blooms very early in the season, usually while there is still threat of frost. Right now, it is about to bloom for a second time, and will probably do so next week. There's about a half dozen blooms on it right now.

    Anyways, Enjoy!
     

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  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Pruning a few comparatively small drooping branches so that the bottom is more even - if that is what you are hankering for - can't hurt as long as you avoid making major cuts leaving large openings in branches that might become cavities. Large in this instance might be something like more than one inch.

    If it were mine I might not prune anything and hope instead that it became more symmetric by having additional branches drop down to the ground. I'd decide what to do viewing the tree in person and examining it more closely.
     
  3. JokerGirl

    JokerGirl Member

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    Thanks! This tree is by far my favourite plant on the property.

    I think I will just leave it alone and hope that it grows out a bit more symmetrically. It's a beautiful tree, and I'd hate to open it up to bugs/disease.

    I've also been wondering if it's not the Saucer hybrid. When was the hybrid first cultivated? I've been looking around and can't seem to find a general time when it was.


    Living in this old school has been interesting. It's taken a lot of work just to get it liveable as the previous owners never really fixed anything properly. Unfortunately, most of the original fixtures were stripped out by the previous owners, so we've been trying to keep the last few original things original.
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Yes: It looks to be a saucer magnolia. The cross dates from the 18th century. Multiple named selections have been introduced since then, with plenty of time for some of them to have become confused or replaced by different introductions put on the market under the same names. Myriad unselected seedlings have also been grown and sold by nurserymen or raised and planted by home gardeners, without a commercial involvement. The prominent old cultivar 'Lennei' tends to produce large conspicuous fruits, probably many of these have been sources for casually grown seedlings (as well as additional, similar nursery introductions given cultivar names).
     
  5. JokerGirl

    JokerGirl Member

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    Great information! Thanks so much. It's interesting to know just how quickly hybridization of plants caught on.
     

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