Southern Magnolia in upstate New York

krazyaroider(Hamburg, NY 14075 Zone 6)August 25, 2007

Friday August 24, I held a garage sale. A woman was looking at my Magnolia grandifloras in my front yard. I found out from the subsequent conversation that her son in law lives in Rochester and has a large established specimen of Southern Magnolia.

She did not know what cultivar it is.

I have an unnamed seedling from Applachian gardens, That has grown outside for three years and it looks quite healthy.

I purchased and planted cutting grown Bracken Brown Beauty, Edith Bogue and Pocano.

I wonder if:

Anyone in the Rochester area has seen this tree?


Anyone know of any other southern Magnolias in upstate NY?

Thank you in advance,


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I have a magnolia in my yard but it's not the southern variety.
I'd think you'd have to have a very unique micro climate to grow a southern magnolia anywhere in NY state. I know my mother tried for years and never succeeded. She finally by chance moved south and now has a few in her yard.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2007 at 12:45PM
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krazyaroider(Hamburg, NY 14075 Zone 6)

Carol - What part of NYS did your mother reside in? Where did she acquire her Southern Magnolias?

I currently am growing the following magnolias in my yard here in Hamburg NY:

Magnolia X "Butterflies" - bright yellow blooms
Magnolia hypoleuca
Magnolia accuminata
Magnolia tripetala
Magnolia stellata
Magnolia ashei
Magnolia virginiana
Magnolia grandiflora - unknown cultivar grown from seed/Appalachian Nursery
Magnolia grandiflora "Bracken's Brown Beauty"
Magnolia grandiflora "Edith Bogue"
Magnolia grandiflora "Pocano"

I did a lot of online researching on hardy southern magnolias and the finding were intriging and led me to trial the above named cultivars. The one from Appalachian Gardens has been growing in the ground for at least 3 years and is growing well. The named cultivars are all cutting grown, this is important as I tried a Bracken' s Brown Beauty from Carroll Gardens that I found to be grafted. There is no mistaking that as the bottom was not as hardy as the top and died.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2007 at 8:05AM
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My mom lived in Binghamton. Dad drove tractor trailer, so when he went south he'd pick up a tree now and then and bring it home hoping it might make it thru the winter. Never did despite her trying different places in the yard and babying the darn things. She finally gave up and bought a northern magnolia. It took awhile but it established it self and had wonderful flowers.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2007 at 3:22PM
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krazyaroider(Hamburg, NY 14075 Zone 6)

Carol - I think if your mom had tried one of the cultivars like Edith Bogue, Bracken' s Brown Beauty and other, she may have succeeded.
Binghamton, I believe is zone 4 or 5.
I am assuming this was a few years before the cultivars became available.
My research on Garden Web has led me to an exchange where they are trialing one of the hardy southern magnolia cultivars on a college campus in Elmira or Ithica - not sure.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2007 at 8:49AM
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I think Highland Park in Rochester has numerous southern magnolias. They are huge trees, obviously there for over 50 years.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2007 at 12:22PM
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krazyaroider(Hamburg, NY 14075 Zone 6)

I googled Highland Park and found out that there are 35 different types of Magnolias, but no details to which ones they are...
It would be interesting to find out.
I read that the city of Ithaca is trialing 15 - 20 foot Edith Bogue southern magnolias on another forum in garden web.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 10:14AM
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hammerl(z5-6 Amherst NY)

It seems a lot of them are not southern:

From the Landmark Society of WNY website, on Rochester's Highland Park:
"Next on the path are the Magnolias; over 35 species and varieties are located here. The Star Magnolias (Magnolia stellata) begin blooming in late April with the daffodils and early tulips. Saucer Magnolias (Magnolia soulangiana) bloom in May while the Sweetbay Magnolias (Magnolia virginiana) bloom intermittently throughout the season. Other notable magnolias to search out are Magnolia macrophylla (Bigleaf Magnolia) and (Magnolia kobus DC) Kobus Magnolia."

"Thirty-five magnolia species, varieties, or forms are represented in Highland Park, including two endangered species, the Ashe and Fraser magnolias, both native to the southeastern United States. " -- Lilac Festival website (see

And from the conifer society:
To the south of the rose family are the magnolias (Magnolia spp.). A New York native, cucumber tree (M. acuminata) grows next to Kobus magnolia (M. kobus), a plant from Hokkaido. Kobus magnolia has white flowers in April and reseeds freely here. Both species have attained timber proportions. The Appalachian native, umbrella magnolia (M. tripetala), grows with hybrid star magnolia (M. stellata) and saucer magnolia (M. x soulangiana), both obtained from a European nursery. At the south end of the magnolias are 14 M. x proctoriana 'Slavin's Showy'. The original chance seedling, which was found in Highland Park, Rochester, is believed to be a cross of Kobus magnolia and anise magnolia (M. salicifolia). In late April, 'Slavin's Showy' displays white flowers 5 inches to 6 inches across.";thold=0amp;POSTNUKESID=00367fd7d5805e77a2095890bb9d4068

That's some of the supposedly 35 Highland Park magnolias -- 14 Slavin's Showy Magnolia kobus var. stellata X salicfolia, Kobus magnolia, star magnolia, umbrella magnolia, saucer magnolia, sweetbay magnolia, bigleaf magnolia, and the Fraser and Ashe mentioned above.

Here is a link that might be useful: Landmark Society Highland Park Tour Info

    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 10:31AM
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krazyaroider(Hamburg, NY 14075 Zone 6)

Thanks hammerl ~ that is the detailed information I needed or someone has been to Highland Park and positively identified southern magnolias.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 8:53AM
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