Merrill magnolia tree - Knowledgebase Question

kent, wa
Question by konnimccarr
August 1, 2006
How aggressive are the roots on merrill magnolia's? I want to plant one close to an approximate 3 foot high retaining wall. The retaining wall is made out of large blocks and is quite sturdy. Will the roots damage the wall?

Answer from NGA
August 1, 2006


Merrill magnolia is more of a shrub than a tree but it will still get 12' high and 15' wide at maturity. The roots of magnolias can be shallow and can grow outwards one and one-half times the diameter of the canopy. Because of this, I'm afraid planting it only a few feet from a retaining wall can cause some problems in the future. Why not plant a shrub with a smaller, deeper root system instead? Camellias and hollies have well behaved root systems and shouldn't compromise the integrity of your retaining wall.

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