Please help me save my Magnolia

razarizviJuly 14, 2014

Howdy All,

I had purchased and planted a Southern Magnolia tree just 3 months ago (~March 2014) on my front yard in Richmond TX (Zone 8b). I've added some manure while planting along with some loose soil. I've used 6 bags of rubber mulch.

I've been watering frequently and its been raining a fair bit in Houston also. However as you can see in the attached pics, it doesn't look like it is doing well. Am I watering too much? Too little? Or is this some kind of a disease? Will greatly appreciate help.

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It looks like a lack of water. Can't tell for sure from photos how large a tree, but it looks to be a good size. These need a lot of water to get established, especially in a hot climate like Texas. And how it is watered makes a big difference as well - best to use a soaker hose or just the hose (sans nozzle) at a slow trickle, allowing sufficient time for the water to soak down to the base of the rootball.

And no amending planting holes, especially if working in a heavy clay or poorly draining soil. Put any desired amendments on top as a mulch if you wish. And get rid of the rubber!! It is a poor choice in terms of ability to leach heavy metals and other chemicals, providing zero nutrients source and low permeability. The only place rubber mulch could be used in good conscience is mixed with playground chips in a kids play area. Not with plants.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 6:06PM
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IanW Zone 5 Ont. Can.

ditto what gardengal48 says....

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 9:59AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

pull back the mulch ... and with a hand trowel ... dig a hole 3 to 6 inches deep .. ... AND FIND OUT IF ITS DRY OR TOO WET ...

crikey.. only you can figure out your soil ..

adjust watering appropriately ...

and as far as the mulch .... blacks make soil REAL HOT... never use black.. IMHO ... so i never got to contemplating rubber .... [i learned this with cocoa mulch.. which is dark brown.. cooked everything in to ...]

whats done is done as to amending the hole... based on what the plant look like.. i would NOT stress it more... by redigging it ...

give it until sept.. and if it looks no better... no fresh growth.. return it under warranty ...

see link for planting/watering/mulching/amending/etc instructions ....


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 6:47PM
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Ooof... look at all that brown. I wouldn't think there's any coming back for that tree. And it's a pity, magnolia is my favourite flower in the world. No wonder you chose such a tree. I'd call the place you bought it from and see what your policy is. Hope you have a receipt if they want one.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 10:40PM
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Your tree is dead.
Don't use rubber mulch, especially under a magnolia.
How in the world is rubber going to mulch a tree?
I don't get it.
If you buy another one, research online all about Magnolia trees before you plant it, or the nursery plants it.
Buy some pine mulch, and don't put the mulch up to the trunk.
Oh well, live and learn.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 10:45PM
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