Mature Magnolia tree has fewer than 10 buds

Discussion in 'Magnoliaceae' started by kiscoma, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. kiscoma

    kiscoma Member

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    I'm trying to figure out a way to save our Magnolia tree (don't know which variety).

    I don't know how old it is, but it was a fully grown tree when we moved in to our house four years ago. The first few years it bloomed beautifully. Last year it hardly bloomed at all, and now (late April) it only has a few buds while all of the others in town are in full bloom. We had a tree company come last year and they pruned it and said it would flower this year... clearly they were wrong.

    Is there any hope?
     

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  2. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    If it ws pruned last season yes there is. I gave a couple of types here a very severe hair cut and they bloomed very well second season. My realy big one was pruned of all its flowers by the wild cockatoos last spring. So am trying a few ideas to deter them from landing this next spring.

    Liz
     
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Does not look like a magnolia in this shot. Can you show a closer view?

    If it is not producing a full crown in summer then you are seeing fewer flowers because the tree is in declining health.
     
  4. K Baron

    K Baron Well-Known Member

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    The tree looks sickly, when was the pix taken?
     
  5. kiscoma

    kiscoma Member

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    Picture was taken yesterday (4/29/09). I'll try to take another today, but it's very hard to get a clear shot because of all of the green trees in the background.
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Show the twigs up close, and the condition of and conditions around the main trunk. Pictures of the whole tree from some distance back aren't that useful - except to show the growth habit.
     
  7. kiscoma

    kiscoma Member

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    Here are more photos - close ups of the trunk condition, the twigs, and one of the buds. Thanks so much for helping me with this.
     

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  8. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    The taper of the trunk looks at though the tree has been buried by fill. The cracks could be related to that or it might even be under attack by honey fungus. If it shows it is still alive later it might be worthwhile to weed around it, including removal of the lawn to give it a mulched, turf-free area to live in. If the original crown is sitting under a layer of fill taking that away might help keep it alive also. The root system is liable to extend over a larger area than the crown of branches. so if it appears the tree was in fact buried you may not be able to uncover the whole thing - without what seems like a big and disruptive undertaking. If it turns out this year most of the top has gone bare (or, of course, if the whole top is now dead) you may just have to cut it down.

    What color are the flowers?
     
  9. kiscoma

    kiscoma Member

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    It has/had light pink/white flowers. So you're suggesting that if those buds do open up, we remove all weeds/lawn/etc around the tree for approx. the circumference of the branches?
     
  10. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Only bother with that if the tree is still alive. I think it's dead or nearly so. The Sec. Yulania (spring flowers on bare branches, before leaves) magnolias here in USDA 8 have all bloomed or are in bloom, leafing out or starting to. Something should start to happen on yours soon, esp. since others nearby are at it already. New York can't be that far behind us.
     
  11. kiscoma

    kiscoma Member

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    Everything else is blooming and starting to leaf. We just have some soft little buds. If those manage to blossom or if the tree leafs in the next few weeks, does that mean there's a chance?
     
  12. mcm007

    mcm007 Member

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    the first thing i can think of is that you are in NY state. which has a very short growing season. i find that this type of tree needs more sunlight to bloom and create new leaves.

    IMHO : you need to MULCH MULCH around the tree , theny create a water "circle" around the base of the tree...

    Im in floriday and had two bloom this eeek . and a tone of new growth. also, amigo , keep in mind that they NEED direct sun and moist conditions.... )MULCH) water every other day for a couple weeks. to me it looks like it got frost bit.
    i would take asmall samle from the tree to determine its health... peel back a branch with a potat peeler or shears .. GREEN MEANS GOOD< SOLID WOOD<, no good. Good luck .
     

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