How to stake a leaning magnolia grandiflora?

Discussion in 'Magnoliaceae' started by bijjy, Oct 6, 2008.

  1. bijjy

    bijjy Active Member

    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Burnaby BC Canada
    This magnolia is obviously very top-heavy. It is leaning away from the direction of the wind. The photo doesn't capture just how acute the angle is.

    It is leaning against a small stake that isn't helping too much. Should it be tied to a larger stake, forced to grow more perpendicular to the ground, with a proper rubber bark protector?

    Or are there other ways to ensure it doesn't get knocked around by the wind or turned into a mutant as it ages?
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,622
    Likes Received:
    510
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    Looks like Majestic Beauty = 'Monlia', which is apt to break in snow here anyway. I'd replace it with a better specimen of a more locally suitable variety, such as 'St Mary' or 'Victoria' - and plant it in a warmer, more sheltered position, nearer the house where you can enjoy the fragrance of the flowers in summer.

    If this was grown by Monrovia it is liable to be rootbound, adding to the problems of the top-heavy lollipop branching shape.
     
  3. bijjy

    bijjy Active Member

    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Burnaby BC Canada
    Thank you. Would it help to dig it up, try to unfurl the roots as much as possible, and plant it closer to the house? Or would transplanting it damage it further?
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,622
    Likes Received:
    510
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    It might be possible to open the roots up at this time of year and get away with it. Depends on how bad they are, if there is a tight not or twist of them dating back to when the rootstock or rooted cutting was in a band or liner there is probably nothing that can be done without killing the tree.

    And it will still be apt to break up in snow. Even the more reliable cultivars mentioned may receive some damage during periods of wet, heavy snow.

    'Monlia' was very popular in the past, of course they don't all fall apart when it snows. But you are already having problems with the stability of yours.

    If you decide to or are forced to by a mishap select a replacement, do not choose the now much-planted 'Little Gem' as in addition to a foliage mildew problem it also is apt to be lost to heavy snowfalls. I have seen long-established specimens snapped right in half, across the middle. It does make a nice espalier on a hot wall, a treatment long used for M. grandiflora generally in cool and damp England.
     
  5. bijjy

    bijjy Active Member

    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Burnaby BC Canada
    Okay. Luckily its on the Sunshine Coast which doesn't get much snow, compared to Vancouver, but it does get a ton of wind, which really wreaks havoc on all the plants. I was going to just stake it more securely, but it looks like a more sheltered area would be better.
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,622
    Likes Received:
    510
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    Yes: All magnolias are bothered by wind. Most have large brittle or soft parts. Even the common small bushy ones like garden forms of star magnolia are subject to having their flowers torn if strong winds occur at flowering time.
     

Share This Page