The Q&A Archives: Magnolia tree Care

Question: What is the best way to fill in a branchy/twiggy Magnolia tree? The tree is about 6 years old and has many bare or just a few branch tip leaves on the upper half of the tree. There are also some white spots under the leaves and a light green moss/fungus on the bark and branches. It gets a few white blooms annually.

Answer: You can prune your magnolia in the spring to encourage new growth. Wherever you cut, the tree should produce two new stems, which will eventually grow into branches. So, cut some of the branches back to help fill in the center. Magnolias in the south often have various types of leaf spots on the older leaves. Algal leaf spots are among the more common ones seen. These seldom pose any threat to the tree and do not warrant spraying. The stiff, dense foliage also makes spraying a magnolia ineffective and impractical. Plus, the older leaves will soon be discarded with the emergence of new growth in the spring.

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