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Snow loads this past winter and damage to Magnolia grandiflora.

Posted by njoasis 7 (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 1, 10 at 18:19

I was wondering if anyone had experience with cultivars of Magnolia grandiflora and resistance to snow load damage. Okay, so after a late start, we just had our snowiest month ever (February). There was no freezing rain this winter but many of the snows were of a heavy, wet variety. I have read that cultivars of grandiflora that have broad, big leaves that lay horizontal are more prone to damage than those with leaves that are more vertically oriented. It sounds good in theory but I had just the opposite results. The cultivars with big, broad, horizontal leaves were fine while a variety with moderate sized leaves that are vertically oriented (believe it's a Teddy Bear) suffered most. The vertical leaves of the Teddy Bear seemed to accumulate much more snow and eventually snapped its branches. Here's what I found comparing the cultivars:

Little Gem--No Damage
Majestic Beauty--No Damage
Edith Bogue--No Damage
Victoria--No Damage
Green Giant--Some damage
Teddy Bear--moderate damage

What has your experience been? I like all varieties but am disappointed that the Teddy Bears seem to suffer so from heavy wet snow. Thanks in advance.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Snow loads this past winter and damage to Magnolia grandiflor

This information would be much more useful if we knew the size and age of these trees. Also, could we know your location and the average amount of snowfall per event?

RE: Snow loads this past winter and damage to Magnolia grandiflor

I just moved to my present location a few years ago and the trees were only put in about two years ago--so they are still small (between 7-10 feet). My location is Metro NYC/NJ and the event that did the most damage was a single heavy/wet snowfall of about 20 inches. Other snows did no damage this past winter. I am primarily interested in what others experienced in terms of damage related to specific cultivars.

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