Saucer Mangolia looking droopy

ellen_portland(z8 OR)June 6, 2009

My special Saucer Magnolia is looking a little droopy after this last wild storm- I am worried about it. The two tallest shoots have splayed out a bit and the leaves seem to weigh the branches down after only a little rain.

We bought it in March 06 after we first moved into this house to commemorate our first home in Portland. When we first moved here it was to a rental in SW Portland that had a 30 year old magnolia tree in it's backyard. Being from California it surprised the heck out of us coming into glorious bloom in the Spring. It sorta welcomed us to Portland and that is why I wanted one of my own. It really has a soft spot in my heart.

What can I do to help it? stake the branches up to support it? it has some spotting on the branches. I so wish this wind would stop so it can recover in some way.

Thanks so much.

Here is a link that might be useful:

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

I wouldn't do anything except maybe give it a larger grass-free, mulched area and maybe fertilize it with a suitable formulation. Many of these here have chronic poor leaf color as the soil is too dry and infertile where they have been planted. When you see one that is getting enough or nearly enough minerals it can be a revelation.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 1:07PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

I wouldn't fertilize because our local clay-based soils contain plenty of natural fertilizer elements for good growth of ornamental trees.

Because the magnolia is likely well established, a once-a-month deep irrigation throughout the root system will keep it in good condition.

And yes, clear back the turf and replace with mulch or bark dust.

Don't worry about the spots on the branches. It's very common stuff locally, namely lichen. It indicates we have good quality air -- yea! -- much better than you had in much of CA.

Jean,
who arrived from SoCal about 11 years ago.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 8:15PM
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ellen_portland(z8 OR)

Thank you so much!

Is there a rule on how much turf free area a tree should have? I want to make sure I do it right.

Any ideas on mulch or bark dust would be greatly appreciated as well- being that we have a dog that seems to love the bark dust we had previously- would sail by the tree- grab a piece or two and play chase. So I would love a recommendation of something finer?

Much appreciated!
Ellen
who arrived from SoCal 7 years ago, come July 3 ;-)

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 9:09PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

>I wouldn't fertilize because our local clay-based soils contain plenty of natural fertilizer elements for good growth of ornamental treesThat is entirely false as the quantities of trees and shrubs in local plantings with glaring nutrient deficiency symptoms show. There is no across the board recommendation for fertilization that can be made that will apply to every soil on every site here. However, judging from the appearance of the tree shown it seems likely the checking the situation with a soil test or applying a suitable fertilizer once or twice as a preliminary trial should show there was a need for improvement.

The most frequently deficient nutrient in this region is nitrogen. While generally not requiring the same levels of nutrients as some other plants trees do need some nitrogen. And as with other plants different kinds of trees vary in how much they need. Foresters can even judge the likely levels of nitrogen on a natural site by which species of native trees and shrubs are predominant.

>Because the magnolia is likely well established, a once-a-month deep irrigation throughout the root system will keep it in good conditionThe flood it and then make it go without for a month routine is a bad idea that does not follow the natural conditions that roots are adapted to. You can't make roots do deep by making them go without for a month, if the upper layer of soil where most roots will always be (where the air is) gets too dry for them they will simply die.

A heavy deep soaking may also prompt a crop of lush soft top growth which then is likely to be lost during the subsequent month of no watering.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 10:23PM
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ellen_portland(z8 OR)

I may test the soil soon to see if it's missing anything-then we will know for sure.... I usually water it when I water the rest of my garden. Sorry, didn't mean cause trouble.

"Thank you so much!

Is there a rule on how much turf free area a tree should have? I want to make sure I do it right.

Any ideas on mulch or bark dust would be greatly appreciated as well- being that we have a dog that seems to love the bark dust we had previously- would sail by the tree- grab a piece or two and play chase. So I would love a recommendation of something finer?

Much appreciated!
Ellen
who arrived from SoCal 7 years ago, come July 3 ;-)"

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 12:06PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Arborist wood chips are good as long as you don't get perennial weeds or garbage with them.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 1:01PM
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