magnolia tree identification help

Discussion in 'Magnoliaceae' started by leafclimber, Oct 5, 2006.

  1. leafclimber

    leafclimber Member

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    In my back yard there is this great little magnolia tree. From the first picture you can see that it is fairly upright growing. Currently it is about 10 wide by 16' high. The house is 50 years old so it isn't any older than that. The buds are a pale pink and open into a white flowers flushed with pink along the middle, having approximately 20 tepals. At first I thought it was a star magnolia, but it seems too upright for it to be that. A Kobus hybrid, Jane Platt, Leonard Messel... none of these seem to match. If helpful I can post some pictures of it leafed out. Any ideas? Thanks.
     

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  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Looks like M. stellata to me, though a hybrid with M. kobus is always a possibility given that they hybridise readily (and are even considered conspecific by some authors).

    I don't think the "too upright" is significant; that may just mean it started life under more shade than it has now, or was pruned at some point to shorten the side branches.
     
  3. leafclimber

    leafclimber Member

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    Thanks for your reply. I had assumed that it wasn't M. Stellata since most of those that I see in the Seattle area are very shrubby, not very upright, but the flower does look about right. It gets mainly morning sun probably until about 2pm in the summer. There are two vine maples and some more distant but tall evergreens to the west that keep it out of late afternoon sun. Probably gets full sun until 2pm in the summer.

    I haven't done much pruning to this but since I have only been the keeper of this tree for the past 2 years I don't know how it was pruned in its formative years. The trunk is about 6' from a path and it is planted near a patio so it may have received some early training to provide clearance for those.
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Star magnolia. Star, Loebner and Kobus all differentiated primarily by tepal count (number of "petals"). Numerous slender tepals = star magnolia.

    Treelike habit not rare for star magnolia, in fact comparatively squat bushy growth result of horticultural selection. Wild star magnolia in Hokkaido and seedlings grown from cultivated specimens often bolt upright.

    A pink star magnolia (M. stellata 'Rosea') in Seattle was 28 ft. high in 1992.
     
  5. TonyJ

    TonyJ Member

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    This is my first post so I hope this is the right thread for this question.

    We recently bought a 1920's Craftsman here in Michigan and I think a large Magnolia would look beautiful in our front yard. I am in Zone 6 and the spot I am thinking gets full sun most of the day and will support a very large tree. Can anyone recommend the variety that would do best and give advice on preparing the soil?

    Thanks,

    Tony
     
  6. leafclimber

    leafclimber Member

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    My yard is a bit broken up since it is made up of a bunch of terraces. If I had the space I would plant a saucer magnolia since the flowers are so beautiful. I am not familiar with your climate so I cannot make a specific recommendation. Think about answers to these questions:

    How tall can it get?
    How wide?
    What color flower do you like?
    Look at lots of pictures

    This web site has pictures and information about most varieties.

    http://www.magnoliastore.com/

    You can also look for these books at the library or book store.

    Magnolias : a gardener's guide / Jim Gardiner.
    The world of magnolias / Dorothy J. Callaway.
    Magnolias : a care manual / Graham Rankin.
    Magnolias/ Rosemary Barrett ; photographs, Derek Hughes.

    Good luck!
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Maybe a Michigan origin Phil Savage hybrid, such as 'Butterflies' or 'Big Dude'. Do not prepare the soil. Do mulch after planting.
     

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