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Jun 3, 2020 11:49 AM CST
Name: Leon
Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Zone 5b)
Hi tree experts,

I have a small magnolia tree bought and planted 3-4 years ago in my front yard in Toronto Canada. Every year it gives 2-3 flowers maximum and last year it did give any flower, so I took it out and found and removed a few rocks around its root.

Every year after spring, its leaf is having dark spots, missing part of it like being eaten by insects. I tried using soapy water, this year tried dormant spray kit. Again the leaf starts to show problems like these pictures. Last year all the leaf falls and regrow back. it is a vicious cycle.

After these years, it didn't grow much (probably not at all). What kind of disease it is having, or it needs fertilizer? is there any insect attacking it, or fungi is growing on it?

Please help me to cure this tree, so it can be saved and grow again. BTW, when I bought it from costco it was the last one on the lot. Is it called Lily Magnolia?

Thank you for your time to read my first post!
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Jun 3, 2020 1:43 PM CST
Name: Big Bill
Livonia Michigan (Zone 6a)
If you need to relax, grow plants!!
Bee Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Region: Michigan Hostas Growing under artificial light
Echinacea Critters Allowed Cat Lover Butterflies Birds Region: United States of America
My first thought is a Magnolia in Toronto? I figured it was too cold. And you are right on the edge. Some growers/vendors say zones 5-9, some say 6-9. This constantly growing on the edge in a cool spot may be the reason for slow, uneven growth.
I would not be too worried about a few little insects here and there.
I would not dig it up and disturb it again.
One thing that you might try is to protect it from winter winds. Wind chills may be a bit too harsh exposed in a front yard. I would also think about putting some chicken wire or turkey wire around the base of the plant and then fill this enclosure with two feet or so of leaves. The leaves might help to keep the root mass a little warmer.
Orchid lecturer, teacher and judge. Retired Wildlife Biologist. Supervisor of a nature preserve up until I retired.
Avatar for ddker
Jun 3, 2020 4:34 PM CST
Name: Leon
Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Zone 5b)
Thank you BigBill! During winter I do worry about the harsh wind, but the thought slips away. I will try to wrap it this winter.

Just a few houses down the road, there are a few magnolia trees much bigger size. These trees are doing very well and give fabulous flowers first thing in the spring. Mine is struggling constantly. Hopefully next spring it can do well when I wrap it this fall.

Right now the tree is really in sorry state. Should I spray it with fungicide? Even the little leaf sprouts out is showing black spot and missing part of itself. Please see the picture showing the deformed leaf.


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Jun 3, 2020 4:37 PM CST
Name: Big Bill
Livonia Michigan (Zone 6a)
If you need to relax, grow plants!!
Bee Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Region: Michigan Hostas Growing under artificial light
Echinacea Critters Allowed Cat Lover Butterflies Birds Region: United States of America
I have no experience with magnolias. I hate to spray any chemical unless it is 110% needed.
Why not see if you can find one of those neighbors down the street and ask them what they do. Seems reasonable to me. Worth a shot.
Orchid lecturer, teacher and judge. Retired Wildlife Biologist. Supervisor of a nature preserve up until I retired.
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