Magnolia grandiflora problem

Discussion in 'Magnoliaceae' started by GRSJr, Jul 31, 2005.

  1. GRSJr

    GRSJr Active Member 10 Years

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    We have a problem with one Magnolia grandiflora. It's a 28 year old tree and has been doing wonderfully well until last year . Then the new growth curled up and turned black along the leaf margins, eventully droping off. This was repeated this spring.

    There seemed to be no sign of insects or mould, so I had the plant and soil tested. No problems with nutrients.

    The other M. grandiflora, including 'Little Gem' are not effected.

    Searrching yoelded nothing. Most references say the plant has no problems.

    So, I can use some advice, hopefully from someone that has experienced the problem.

    Sorry, no pictures. I didn't know abouy this forum in the spring, and all the effected leaves are gone now.
     
  2. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    To track down the disease without any photos you
    are going to have to work with me.

    What were the weather conditions like when you
    first saw that the new growth was being affected?
    Was it balmy and humid, cold and humid, typical
    Spring weather with some humidity etc..? Do
    you remember a period of a cool rain followed
    by some warm weather and then a period of some
    cooling with a lot of moisture in the air?

    Where was the new growth affected on the tree,
    was it restricted to just the top of the tree, only
    in the areas that get the most sun, get the most
    shade or was all of the new growth affected
    allover the tree? 'Little Gem' has dark green
    colored leaves, is your Magnolia in question a
    light green colored leaf in comparison?

    Tell me if this seems close to what happened.
    The newest growth emerges and quickly became
    disfigured, golden brown blotches of deterioration
    occurred in the interior of most of the leaves but
    not all of them, then the leaves shriveled up but
    stayed on the tree for a few days and then turned
    black in color and fell off of the tree?

    Jim
     
  3. GRSJr

    GRSJr Active Member 10 Years

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    No. Both the 2004 and the 2005 springs were normal.

    All over the tree I guess. It's so big I can't see the top too well. The new growth around the bottom was certainly effected.

    Leaf color is quite similar to 'Little Gem', but the normal leaves are quite a bit larger.

    Not entirely. The disfigurement
    does happen quickly. The new leaves get to be about 5 inches long, but curled end-to-end and also side-to-side.

    There were no noticable golden brown blotches in the interior, but I didn't examine every leaf and I might not have noticed them as well. The leaves stayed on the tree for nearly a month. Only the margins turned black or dark brown. Then they fell. Most still had some green in the center, but a yellow sickly green.

    Thanks for helping. I know it's very hard without a leaf sample or at least a picture. It's probably important that it's done this for at least two seasons, perhaps more.

    Ray
     
  4. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I know it's very hard without a leaf sample or at least a
    picture.


    What I need to know is what you saw with the symptoms.
    Information on diseases of Magnolias is very vague.
    Lots of leaf diseases is commonly mentioned but then
    little mention is made of any of them specifically aside
    from Bacterial Leaf Spot. I've seen Anthracnose damage
    on Magnolias that others have not seen or did not pick up
    on as they saw or were seeing the effects of it as it was
    hitting the tree.

    Tell me what a normal Spring is for you for temps,
    humidity and for weather?

    After the new growth fell of the tree was there any
    new growth to appear later in the year or was the ends
    of the tips fried to the point that no new growth did
    appear and has not generated any new growth since?

    This may not have much meaning to people but it
    does tell a lot. 2 years ago my Pears got hit with
    Fireblight in April. We normally do not get hit
    with Fireblight on Pears and Cherries until August.

    Jim
     
  5. GRSJr

    GRSJr Active Member 10 Years

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    Spring in piedmont NC usually has a fair amount of rain, but we had a shortage this spring. Temperatures run from 40F in the morning to 75F in the afternoon. Humidity is always high in the piedmont even in the winter and unbearable in summer. This hasn't bothered the other Magnolia grandiflora here for over 20 years.

    No new growth appeared immediately after the initial, deformed leaves dropped. However, there is new growth
    now that looks normal. The most advanced has leaves that are 8 inches long, still light green. Overall, there is only maybe 20% as much as the earlier deformed flush.

    It's difficult to tell if the current new growth is eminating from the same tips as the earlier growth. However. the tips of all branches seems to be normal.

    Ray
     
  6. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    If you are getting new growth to emerge from
    the areas in which the leaves in the Spring were
    affected and later dropped off, then you more
    than likely had a fungus problem rather than a
    bacterial one. If a blast form of bacteria were
    to hit the tips, no new regeneration of leaves
    would be seen for some time, if ever as in the
    case of Fireblight. A leaf spot disease may very
    well only affect the Spring growth but you should
    see it affect some of the older leaves as well
    causing them to discolor and fall off the tree
    also.

    We do not have to know what the pathogen is
    if it is a fungus as that you can treat for next
    Spring with a good old Copper sulfate spray
    before the tree puts out the new growth. A
    good way to figure it is spray the fungicide
    when you can tell the tree has water movement,
    when the leaves go from being somewhat
    drooped (nodding, tips of the leaves down) to
    being turgid again (tips starting to upraise some).
    That is when I'd spray solely as a preventative
    spray as a contact spray may be too late to help
    you.

    Jim
     
  7. GRSJr

    GRSJr Active Member 10 Years

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    Thanks. I'll look for the rising leaf tips next spring and give it a prentative spray or two.

    Great to be able to get help from someone who knows that Magnolia grandiflora can have enemies in spite of the literature.

    Ray
     
  8. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Let us know if you endure the same condition again
    next Spring, even after the application of a fungicide
    spray. Was this a seedling or a cutting grown Magnolia
    is the question I'll have if this condition persists. I would
    be more concerned if this tree was a grafted individual.

    Jim
     
  9. GRSJr

    GRSJr Active Member 10 Years

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    Jim,

    The tree was salvaged from a developers site in Wrightsville Beach, NC. It was a naturally occuring seedling about 3 feet tall.

    That was in October 1978 and it has been growing here ever since. I've only noticed the deformed new growth in the last 2 years.
     
  10. GRSJr

    GRSJr Active Member 10 Years

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    Problem solved.

    I applied 'Messenger' just before the new leaves began to grow. No leaf disfiguration this year. We'll see how it behaves in 2007.
     
  11. GRSJr

    GRSJr Active Member 10 Years

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    OK. The leaves have emerged for the spring of 2007. Once again I applied Messenger prior to emergence.

    The leaves are normal again this year showing no disfiguration.

    I know some experts debunk the effectivness of Messenger, but it certainly cured the problem here. It also has saved several Rhododendron suffering from root-rot, as well as a Taxus brownii.

    I think some "experts" are wrong.
     
  12. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    One thing we do not do is tell someone
    they were wrong to use a helper spray
    if the EPA approved chemical works for
    us. People that are not growing the plant
    or have not grown the plant have not learned
    when to keep their fingers away from the
    keyboard, as much of the time the growing
    issue is a concern for someone else's plant.
    Inasmuch as we would prefer not to use a
    helper spray for plants some of us are in
    areas that we may have to spray our plants
    with a preventative spray as a precaution.
    What we can see of our plants later when
    we did not use a fungicide or a regulator
    spray as opposed to what we will see when
    we have used a helper spray tells the whole
    story but too many people have not had to
    deal with the condition or have not seen
    the effects of the disease to know. People
    can make boasts of what not to do for a
    variety of reasons or in their own way
    condemn or chastise others for using a
    helper spray but the one constant that
    does not change is the plant in question
    is not theirs.

    Thanks for keeping us apprised of your
    tree.

    Jim
     
  13. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    If you apply a product or use another method without a control group (set of untreated plants) you really haven't demonstrated a result - there is nothing to compare to. Maybe the problem improved on its own, independent of the treatment. If they were all treated, you can't really tell - especially if the 'test group' was tiny. Spraying 50 or 100 plants from the same block, with an equally large group not being sprayed is the kind of approach that may begin to reveal a significant pattern.
     
  14. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I believe Rose growers in the Northeast
    have been using this garden product on
    Roses for a while.

    In this case a control plot was not
    needed as the result that was attained
    was what the owner of the tree was
    wanting. The same type control that
    the Rose growers are seeking and
    apparently are getting also. The
    control groups were done during
    testing of this product and I believe
    Cornell University or through the
    New York Cooperative Extension
    were involved with some of the
    testing, probably on a wide range
    of plants.

    For two years a known condition
    has not shown itself after using
    the product as a timed application,
    preventative spray. There is no
    need to go out and find another
    Magnolia with the same issue.
    The problem or what was thought
    as being one has been suppressed
    to the point that the owner now
    no longer sees the symptoms of
    disease that was seen two years
    ago prior to the implementation
    of the topical sprays.

    Jim
     
  15. GRSJr

    GRSJr Active Member 10 Years

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    I didn't suggest that anyone should use Messenger. I simply reported the facts here.

    I didn't imply that I ran a scientific test with controls, etc. I simply reported the results here.

    I find it hard to believe that some other agent cured my plants or that they just got better by tnemselves. To be sure, I don't have proof of that even though some untreated Rhododendron of the same kind did die when left untreated.

    Based on the results here, I cannot believe Messenger is not a reasonable cure for some aflictions as implied by some experts. On the other hand, it is not a miricle cure either. Some of my plants did not respond to it and they died.
     
  16. JadeRook

    JadeRook Member

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    Thank you for addressing this issue, I think it is the same problem I'm having with my Magnolia. I've only recently moved into this house with an established Magnolia in the front yard, so the only information I have about it is what I’ve gathered from the neighbors. They let me know the previous owners brought it with them from Louisiana, that it is only a few years old, it grew taller and faster than anyone expected, and it has always had these curled leaves. I don’t know anything about Magnolia’s but the leaves just don’t seem healthy to me, so I’ve been searching for months on the cause. I’ll put up some pictures of the leaves. If it turns out that this treatment might assist my magnolia as well, I realize I have to wait until next year as it is already producing new growth. My question is about the morning doves that live in its branches. Will this treatment endanger them at all?
     
  17. GRSJr

    GRSJr Active Member 10 Years

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    It's not too late to use Messenger. The best time is when the new groth is starting.

    Messenger is a natural plant hormone and does not effect animal life at all.

    You don't need to saturate the new leaves, just sprinkle them with the Messenger solution.

    By the way, my Magnolia has not had the deformed new growth at all since I
    first used Messenger on it.

    Ray
     
  18. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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