Magnolia tree - Knowledgebase Question

Name: James M. Kensicki Sr.
Collegeville, Pe
Question by ckensicki
April 8, 2010
Last season the leaves of my 10'tall Magnolia tree were very tiny, and part of the tree died. I cut out the dead branches and sprayed the tree with a fungus/insect spray. The leaves are small again this season with a very small amount of blooms.
What can I do?

Answer from NGA
April 8, 2010


I think there's more going on with your magnolia tree than insects or even a fungal infection of the leaves. When a tree produces smaller than normal leaves it usually indicate a root stress of some kind. It might be due to poorly draining soils or to overwatering, or your magnolia may have developed a canker near the base or the crown of the plant. You may want to dig down into the soil to expose the crown and inspect the roots of the tree. If they look healthy, cover them back up. If you find odd looking growths or mushy roots, it may be diseased. Nectria canker produces rounded, target-like lesions (cankers) on magnolia branches and trunks. They eventually are girdled by the cankers and will die. Carefully inspect all parts of your tree. If it has canker disease, you may not be able to save it.

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