The Q&A Archives: How Close To The House Can A Magnolia Leonard Messel Be Planted?

Question: I have a leonard messel magnolia planted in my front bed about 5 feet from house is this to close? Some people are saying yes and others no. The tree is two years old and if I need to move it I would like to do so very shortly. Fall Or spring?

Answer: This is actually a tree reaching twenty to thirty feet tall and wide so it is not well suited to being a foundation plant. You would want to plant it at a minimum about fifteen feet from a building, also safely away from power lines and underground utilities. It will do best in a sheltered spot with evenly moist humusy soil.

The best time to move it would be in late fall or early spring while it is dormant. If you move it now, make sure it is well watered the day before you dig it up, take as large and wide a root ball as possible (you may need help to dig it, raise it, set it on a tarp and drag it) and replant immediately. Keep the soil evenly moist but not sopping wet for this growing season and through the fall as you would any new plant, and check on it for the next several seasons as well to make sure it is re-estblishing.

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