yellow magnolia dying - maybe heat or water?

dianne0712(7)July 9, 2012

bought a yellowbird manolia this spring and promptly caught pneumonia an was down fo a month. Now the leaves are all dying. We've had extreme heat here in Thorold and no rain. I've been watering every day for the last week, but it doesn't seem to be helping. Any ideas?

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ianna(Z5b)

I;m not clear if the tree was planted. Did you mean that you became ill right after buying the tree and didn't have the chance to plant it in the ground? If so I'm sorry to hear that and hope you have recovered.

What seems to be happening is root shock or root damage. Overwatering will not help. Just keep it damp but not drowning. There were will be die backs as a result. The best think you can do is wait to let the plant heal. Remove any branches that die. The important part is the trunk portion.

Is the hole where this tree is planted properly made? Was the ground properly broken up? If the soil is clay and all that was done was to dig a hole, then what you have is bowl that will hold water. If this is the case, the roots are drowning and rotting away. Best to check if this is the case. Improve the drainage as soon as possible.

If the soil is sandy - did you amend it with compost so there's a bit of water retention. Don't let the plant go too dry between watering.

Also in such dry and withering heat (or extreme winter weather), it would be useful to add some mulching to keep the moisture/temperature level uniform. This only for its first year. Once establish you don't need to do this anymore.

Never fertilize in really hot weather, and never fertilize a newly transplanted plant. High nitrogen fertilizers can burn and destroy roots.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 12:45PM
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diane_v_44(Z6)

Hi Dianne

I bought the same yellow magnolia last year .
I live in Barrie further north than yourself

I had planed to plant it in the front yard to replace a tree that I want to be rid of.
But the tree in front, was not cut down and is yet not done.
I put the magnolia in my hospital or trial area. It has come through winter just fine and looking good
I have this small area that has great soil and I put in plants of different sorts. Sometimes something I want to try, or something I want to grow bigger before putting it in the perennial bed. Or something not doing well etc.

Tree is okay where it is for another year but am hoping in the fall to get that tree out in front removed.

Hope you can save your plant. They are just so gorgeous.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 12:32AM
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dianne0712(7)

I planted it before I got sick. The soil in the front yard was all replaced with triple mix and heavily mulched, perhaps too heavily. The water doesn't penetrate. I'm actually a little worried that it may be root bound since I was told that the roots were brittle and if you broke them the tree would die, so I didn't scarify the roots as I normally would. It's October now, so should I wait until spring and spread the roots?

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 9:44PM
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