magnolia tree

lonemuchowApril 13, 2005

I would love to have a hardy magnolia tree, I'm up in Zimmerman area, any suggestions, It would go on the west side of the house right by the house too. Last weekend I saw some absolutely gorgeous ones down in the Linden Hills area a huge white in bloom and a smaller pink, but I really got bitten by the magnolia "bug".


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erinmn(4 MN)

Hi Lone, my tiny baby magnolia stellata, just planted last summer and only 2 feet tall, has a couple of fat white buds! Dear thing. She's on the north side of my house in NE Mpls. I needed a small tree for my small yard, but am already impressed. Bought it at Rice Creek Gardens, my favorite nursery. Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2005 at 12:39PM
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Greenthumb(Zone 5a, MN)

Hi Lone,
Magnolia x loebneri 'Merrill', or sometimes listed as 'Dr. Merrill', is the tree-form of magnolia that you are seeing with the white flowers.

Magnolia x loebneri 'Leonard Messel' is the magnolia that you are seeing with the pink flowers.

'Merrill' can be grown/purchased as a tree or a shrub and 'Leonard Messel' is usually just grown/sold as a shrub.

There are many other magnolias available, too, so you should visit one of your larger local nurseries as soon as possible since the magnolias are just beginning their bloom season.

I, too, have been bitten by the magnolia bug, but just keep in mind that most of the magnolias don't have any fall color to speak of. Magnolias are pretty much just single-season, spring-interest plants.
Good luck,

    Bookmark   April 14, 2005 at 6:41PM
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    Bookmark   April 14, 2005 at 7:07PM
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Greenthumb(Zone 5a, MN)

How did you provide that link in the message area?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2005 at 9:39PM
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birdwing(z4 MN)

I have a leonard messel blooming right now. i'm in st.paul with the tree on the east side of my house. This is the third year it's come back..

    Bookmark   April 14, 2005 at 10:38PM
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Thanks, I'll try and visit a nursery up in this area early next week and see what they have, but they are so beautiful and even if they just have the leaves in the fall , it still is and iteresting tree, but bitten by the magnolia bug, YEAH!!!!


    Bookmark   April 15, 2005 at 7:56AM
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I've got a very large, approximately 10-year old Leonard Messell magnolia covered in bloom right now, I'd guess it's about 16'x18' and is pruned to control it's lateral spread. Many references still list it as a large shrub, but it can attain tree size quite easily. It probably wouldn't be a great choice for right up next to the house, but it's very hardy and wouldn't need such a choice spot. The same is true for M. "Royal Star" or "Merrill"--they are really hardy when established.

Greenthumb is right, magnolias in general don't have good fall color, but Leonard Messell's is respectable. Mine always turns a lovely soft gold in fall. Despite it being reported that it rarely sets fruit/seeds, my mature plant sets a lot that turn red, a nice contrast to the foliage color.

If you like yellow flowers, Magnolia "Elizabeth" is gorgeous, pictures really do not do it justice. For darker, almost purple flowers, Magnolia "Ricki" is wonderful--large flowers with an incredible fragrance. It is a later bloomer, has a narrow habit, and supposedly will attain a modest height.

I grow a few others as well, but the ones I've noted here are the hardiest and prettiest that come to mind just now.

Good luck,


    Bookmark   April 16, 2005 at 2:50AM
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Mike, I used HTML in the message area. Here's how:

Everyplace you see [ below, replace it with Ditto ] and >
This is so it doesn't look like html here, otherwise your browser "interprets" it and you won't be able to see the steps.

1. type [a href="
2. immediately after " type the entire url, from http on
3. type "]
4. type the text you want to appear as the link, for example: CLICK HERE
5. type [/a]


    Bookmark   April 16, 2005 at 8:14AM
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leftwood(z4a MN)

Leonard Messell was glorious at the new shrub garden at the Arboretum yesterday. You could hardly find a windier site. That's quite a testament!


P.S. Leatherwood is still blooming, Mike.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2005 at 2:05PM
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Greenthumb(Zone 5a, MN)

Thanks so much for the info, it's much appreciated.

I may have to go out to the arboretum today, after the Rock Garden meeting, to take a look at the Leatherwood. Thanks for the update.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2005 at 11:52AM
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sue_minn(4 MN)

In west central Minn. I have an 'Elizabeth' covered with big, fat flower buds. I planted it last summer and it's about 4' tall. I hope the flowers survive this weekend's frost!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2005 at 8:19AM
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Posie(z3 MN)

I've had a Magnolia "Shrub" for about 7 years now. AT first it only had about 3 blooms per year but now has a few more and just now it is covered with buds. I'm not exactly fond of it as the blooms are white and really don't show up very well. It is planted in the vicinity of a Ironwood tree in part shade so perhaps I should move it. Mine is a shrub........not a tree. I believe it is Magnolia stellata. I've had it so long that I have lost the name. As for Fall color??? I really haven't noticed any great display.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2005 at 7:02PM
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green_panther(Upstate NY)

I am up in zone 5 and I just put in a magnolia last year and was pleasantly surprised with buds this spring! Take a look...

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 10:46AM
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