The Q&A Archives: Wilting Leaves on Magnolia

Question: We have had a severe drought in this part of Texas this summer. Some of our magnolia trees six or seven years old about 12 to 15 high have had the top leaves turn completely brown. Maybe a third of the way down, some more than that. What should we do? Not sure if those branches are dead or not?

Answer: Trees are amazingly hardy and capable of bouncing back from hard times. Hopefully you're getting some of the rain that's now abundant in other parts of Texas! If you aren't under a water restriction, water your trees moderately so the soil remains evenly moist, but not soaking wet, and apply fresh mulch. If the branches are still alive, they should put out new growth soon after moisture is applied. If they don't prune back the wilted branches in late winter/early spring, while the trees are dormant. Best of luck!

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