Magnolia tree needs help

Discussion in 'Magnoliaceae' started by Unregistered, Aug 29, 2004.

  1. Hello,
    Would someone help! I am in desperate help for my magnolia tree. Last year, my husband gave me a Magnolia Lennei tree as a birthday present. The tree was over 5ft tall, thick (1/2" to 3/4" diameter) branches, with lots of leaves. II was looking forward so much for the spring flowers. But spring came and went without any flower ... and any leaves! I finally got enough courage to test those branches and discovered that most are dead dried. So, I gather more courage and cut back most of these branches, when I noticed that there are new shoots comming up from the bottom of the main trunck and branches. My questions are:
    1. What went wrong?
    2. Are these new shoots any good?
    3. Should I cut off some of these shoots (there are about 12) to encourage a few to get bigger, faster?
    4. What can I do this year to prevent the same thing from happening?

    I live just north of Toronto in Markham. I think I am in zone 5.

    I am willing to try any thing to save this tree, since it's a birthday present
    Thank-you for any help you can give.
  2. Perhaps the top froze, especially if it was planted late in the year. If grafted the rootstock sprouts will grow into whatever the 'Lennei' was grafted onto. It will be a magnolia, but without knowing what was used characteristics will be unpredictable. And, if it was grafted onto a seedling, which is likely to be the case, characteristics will still be somewhat unpredictable, even if it was known which species or hybrid the seeds were taken from.

    On the other hand, if your tree was grown from a cutting you will still have your 'Lennei'. Let the regrowth remain unless and until a few shoots start to conflict (rub together) some years later, in which case you may wish to saw out one or two of them to provide more room for development of the remainder.

    If wishing to establish a tree shape, with an elevated crown perched on a single stem, a single promising (dominant-looking) shoot will have to be selected and tied to a stake, with all others being cut away after it appears that the selected stem is going to develop as desired.

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