The Q&A Archives: Little Gem Magnolia Root Structure

Question: 1. What type of root structure does it have - I want to plant close to a pavestone sidewalk but don't want roots to disrupt the patio.

2. I have heard that Magnolias put out a toxin that prevents anything else from growing close to it?

I already have the tree, but must know these answers before selecting a site for the tree. Thanks for your speedy response.

Luana Taylor

Answer: Luana,

Roots of Magnolia can be rising above the soil surface at it ages over time. However Little Gem has a more limited root sytem and thus would not be a problem as far out from the plant as standard types of southern magnolia. If the patio was about 6 feet from the trunk it should be fine. Plus it takes many years for any roots to become very large and your landscape design may adjust as time goes on. I am not aware of Magnolia producing root toxins but their dense shade is a challenge for most plant. Monkeygrass seems to do okay beneath the outer canopy however.

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