Ask a Question forum: Magnolia Tree Help

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jcush
Oct 9, 2016 3:53 PM CST
Hi-

I just moved into a house near Ft. Lauderdale with two magnolia trees in the backyard. One looks really healthy but the other looks pretty thin and has some strange marks on a bunch of leaves. I'm not sure if it means anything, but one big flower just showed up over the last couple of days.

I don't really know much about tree care, but I dont want to lose the tree. Please help!

Thanks!


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Texas (Zone 8a)
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tx_flower_child
Oct 10, 2016 6:41 PM CST
I'm guessing that the flowers are on the 'good' tree. The 'bad' tree definitely has problems but I don't know what. If the leaves had just been yellow then I would have said 'chorosis' which is treatable. Hope someone around here knows what's causing the black spots.

Are the trees right next to each other? Depending on what's wrong with the sickie, you don't want the healthy tree to get infected. Can't tell for sure from the picture but it kinda looks like one of the trees might be too shaded. Sometimes it's better to have one really healthy tree and sacrifice the other. Don't want to be a bummer b/c someone here is bound to more than I do.

jcush
Oct 11, 2016 7:06 PM CST
Thanks tx. The flowers are actually on the bad tree. A few more popped up over the last day.

Theyre not next to each other so I'm not so worried about spreading. I think it definitely gets less light because of the palms around it.
[Last edited by jcush - Oct 11, 2016 7:07 PM (+)]
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Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
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porkpal
Oct 11, 2016 7:49 PM CST
Usually leaf spot diseases are not a serious threat to trees. Your Magnolia does not look bad to me. It would probably do better if the competing trees could be trimmed to give it more light and air circulation.
Porkpal
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
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dyzzypyxxy
Oct 11, 2016 7:59 PM CST
I think you're right about that, pork. The tree can't be all that unhappy if it's got enough jam to bloom.

Couple of things that might help it out, though - I'd move the crotons (shrubs with colored foliage) from around there, at least a few feet further away. Competition for water and nutrients right in the root zone isn't helping it at all.

The marble chip mulch (white rocks) leaches calcium into the soil and raises the pH which can make acid-loving plants like magnolia starve slowly. They really like a more acidic soil in general. So if you can manage to remove as much as possible of the marble chips, and replace the mulch with something like wood chips that will also help the magnolia to be happier.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

jcush
Oct 12, 2016 9:10 AM CST
Thanks everybody!

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