The Q&A Archives: Wind Tolerance Of Yellow Bird Magnolia

Question: Saw one of your magnolia x 'yellow bird' trees at a local retailer, and all of the information checks out (cold hardiness, sun exposure, etc.). One question, though: we live in an area that gets some moderately strong winds, and being in a relatively new housing development, there isn't a lot of protection from mature trees, etc. Is this tree reasonably tolerant of wind? My wife and I love the fact that this variety blooms later, and most of our hardest wind will happen before the May blooming season, but we still do get some decent gusts (we live in the highest point in Allegheny County, near Pittsburgh, so we want to make sure it can handle the wind. Thanks.

Answer: Unfortunately, magnolias are really best sited where they are sheltered from winds, both strong winter gales and those hot summer winds that are so drying. Depending on your wind patterns, perhaps a location on the east side of your house would shelter it enough. Alternatively, you could consider planting some evergreens for instance to create a wind break and then come back with the magnolia once the evergreens have developed a bit.

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