Star Magnolia in trouble
Last year I noticed that the trunk of this ~ 10 year old Star Mag had something not right with it...sent a photo to my local nursery and got a less than exact and helpful answer. You can see that the outer bark is splitting off of it and it has multiple branches with lichen that are dead. One nasty winter later the poor thing did not even bloom and is only now just leafing out. It has leafed out in the last 4 weeks but it seems rather weak. Today, I removed about 20 percent dead wood and I am trying to determine if I should start with a new tree (if a disease if present) and take it out or be patient with the knowledge that this is the first winter the tree had a tough time. I have enclosed a few photos and would love to get some input. I am also wondering if it just can't take the border of mint and lilly of the valley that may be taking all of it's water? I live right outside of Boston and this tree has done well for many years, it's my fave and I am sad thinking it has to go.