Magnolia leaves turning dark

Wookiem(5b)June 2, 2012

Hi,

Last year, the leaves on my magnolia tree started turning red and eventually black before falling off mid-way through the summer. I'm starting to see the same discolouration this year and have uploaded photos hoping someone out there can offer advice on treatment.

Thanks,

Kevin

Image link:

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Please post more images. Start with the tree overall, and an entire affected branch.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 2:22AM
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Wookiem(5b)

Here are a few more photos. I'm not sure if the insect is relevant, but I saw several of the same insect on quite a few leaves yesterday (didn't see any this morning).

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/40330907/Art%20-%20Indoor/photo-12.JPG
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/40330907/Art%20-%20Indoor/photo-11.JPG
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/40330907/Art%20-%20Indoor/photo-8.JPG

Kevin

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 9:03AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

new leaf growth is often red tinged ... and that is the newest leaf ...

i bet in a few days.. it will turn green ...

i used to know why red comes before green.. but i cant remember ...

ken

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 9:20AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Your pics:

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 4:26PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

The insect -- a fly -- isn't damaging the tree.

As for the red leaves, I agree with Ken. But if they're blackening then dropping, something is wrong. Perhaps water -- too much or too little?

But you said "later in the summer" which could be an entirely different problem such as in a leaf spot disease of one kind or another. Post images of that when it occurs.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 8:15PM
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Wookiem(5b)

Thanks Jean. It's a relief to learn that nothing is amiss at this point. Will definitely re-post if things change.

Kevin

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 6:19AM
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Wookiem(5b)

It's been 2 months since my original post. Quite a few leaves have rusty and/or black spots on them and quite a few have already dropped onto the ground.

It's been a hot, dry sum me and I've been drip irrigating every other day at 6am.

Any thoughts?

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 4:33PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

A tree like that has been in the ground for a couple years shouldn't need extracurricular watering unless it doesn't rain for more than a month. If your grass is still alive, it's not dry enough to worry about trees. I would turn off the irrigation. Light watering done very often like that can cause the tree to make too many weak roots near the surface instead of seeking water deep below ground, as they are supposed to. If/when your tree genuinely needs water added, letting it drip slowly all night would be best, then wait weeks to do it again (if it still hasn't rained.)

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 9:36AM
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Wookiem(5b)

Thanks Purpleinopp. - I've backed off the watering.

Do you think that this alone will prevent the recurrence of the leaf turning rusty and dying next season?

Kevin

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 6:39AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

...looking for my magic 8 ball...

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 8:42AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I'm always highly suspicious of drip irrigation. I don't think that many people know how to measure output....or even how to set up a drip system for trees. Perhaps your soil is getting dribbled on in a few places....but never enough to soak the soil? It's possible to run a drip system every day and still leave the soil/root system parched.d

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 10:29AM
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