Identify my Magnolia for me.

Discussion in 'Magnoliaceae' started by Lady Greybird, May 28, 2007.

  1. Lady Greybird

    Lady Greybird Member

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Felton Delaware USA
    In order to get information about pruning or caring for my Magnolia tree, I need some information on how to identify it so that I get correct information. My tree flowers in early spring with large beautiful blossoms and when they die and fall off, leaves appear and they fall off in the fall/winter. It stays leafy and beautiful all summer. It is about 6 years old and about 14 feet tall and it looks strong and healthy. My problem is that the lower branches are 4 inches off the ground and they extend about 4 feet out from center all around. I must crawl under there to trim the grass and would like to know if I can cut some of the lower branches off so that I can put a push mower under to cut the grass. Will it grow into a tree or always remain like a big bush?
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,649
    Likes Received:
    531
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    Your best bet would be to pull the grass back away from the magnolia and give it a mulched, grass-free area that extends outside the reach of the branches - something it would like to have anyway.
     
  3. Lady Greybird

    Lady Greybird Member

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Felton Delaware USA
    I am so happy to hear that..Just this afternoon I cleared all the grass away with a weed trimmer. the tree now stands in the center of 8 x 8 patch of dirt. Mulch may be a problem. I live in Delaware, and the winds are pretty fierce, and the ground tends to be sandy. Any suggestions ? How about suggestions for making it look more like a tree than a big bush. and how about the Name of this tree? Anyone chime in. I am on limited time. I will be leaving the country for a month and would like to take care of it before I leave.
     
  4. smivies

    smivies Active Member

    Messages:
    793
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Kingston, Ontario, Canada
    A close-up photo of your Magnolia in flower will aid immensely in identification as there are 'hundreds' of varieties. You will still have to mulch it...2 or 3 bags of shredded bark mulch will do as Magnolia's don't like hot, exposed soils. Don't worry about the 'harsh' climate, their are Magnolia's growing in regions that make Delaware look like the Garden State (yes I know that's the NJ motto). As for pruning, a photo of the bush would help us in recommeding a path forward.
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,649
    Likes Received:
    531
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    At 14 feet tall it is too late to try and make a multistem one into a tree with one or a few stems. Do not head back or saw off major limbs.
     
  6. Lady Greybird

    Lady Greybird Member

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Felton Delaware USA
    Sorry, A close-up picture of the tree flowering will have to wait till next spring, it is done for this year. I am attaching pictures that I took this afternoon. One of the bird feeders in front of the tree is 6 ft tall.

    The last pictures were taken from a lying down position and were shot with a close up mode. The are really not at big as they seem to be. The trunk is only about 12 inches from the ground to the first branch. I never noticed the configurations of the trunk till now. Let me see if I can attach these pictures. Well they seem to have transfered to the box under this one..Hope it gets to you all. Thanks
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,649
    Likes Received:
    531
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    Whatever is being used to eat the bark off the bases of the stems - be it weedeater or lawn mower - you will want to stop that from being continued if you want your specimen to do well.
     
  8. Lady Greybird

    Lady Greybird Member

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Felton Delaware USA
    I will try not to get too close to it. I cannot get close to the trunk unless I crawl under there. Are those gnarled trunks supposed to look like that? and will it ever get to look like a "tree"

    I have some Crepe Myrtles in my yard and they are growing the same way as the Magnolia. Short trunks with wide low foliage. All in good shape, but with the same twisted trunks. Is that normal ? Thanks for your help.
     
  9. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,424
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    San Joaquin Valley, California
    You can top this tree but only pinch it back
    to better shape it but do it sparingly, about
    every second or third year is what would
    be recommended and would work here but
    perhaps not where you are. Do not cut
    the top back to older wood if you can help
    it. The lower limbs can come off anytime
    now, cut back flush to the base of one of
    the trunks for this Magnolia if that helps to
    achieve more clearance for the lawnmower.
    If you cut off the lower limbs, leave the top
    of this tree alone, do not pinch it back just
    yet. Around here, we can give this series
    of Magnolia an allover overhaul, pinching
    back the top growth while pruning the tree
    to shape it, even raising the tree by exposing
    more of the trunk, once they get to this size
    and shape. About three years later they will
    have either started to fill in or they have filled
    in again. You will lose some blooming ability
    all the while until this tree does fill in some
    from new growth. Pruned to shape can yield
    this tree to be a compact, round headed tree
    in a landscape but once again trees near me
    react better and faster than other areas might
    or will in cooler or overly moist locations. Where
    you are I would not prune this tree allover at
    once in any growing season. You can "lift"
    up the tree by cutting off the lower branches,
    exposing more trunk and leave the rest of the
    tree alone.

    What color were the flowers?

    Jim
     

Share This Page