Trees and Shrubs forum: The World's Saddest Southern Magnolia

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Name: Erin
NC
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WildflowerRunner
Apr 15, 2018 9:42 PM CST
I am new to the forum. My garden is inherited. My father took the garden over from my mother when she became too handicapped to deal with it. He didn't like gardening. Since he passed on, I have been trying to rehab the garden. It is going well, but I need some help with what can only be described as the saddest Southern Magnolia on the planet.

It is pictured below. Now, for full disclosure, she's 15 years old now. Two years ago she was a bush, for lack of a better description. She is now 7 feet tall... but very sad looking. The leaves look great! No discoloration, they are shiny, and not many drop off. It appears a branch decided to become the master of the tree, and this is how we began getting some height. It is towards the back of the tree, though, which makes it lopsided looking. I don't so much care about that as long as I can keep the tree alive and healthy.

I would like to get it to fill in a little more so it isn't so sad looking. It also has not had a bloom in at least six years. How should I proceed? I have no idea how to take care of a Southern Magnolia. So far, we've gotten here with lots of water and daily greetings. I do talk to my plants, I don't care, it works. Dad didn't do much with her at all for a long time, so I assume she somehow located an underground water source, but I do water her when I do the rest of the garden.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Thumb of 2018-04-16/WildflowerRunner/d46ac3

Name: Jim
Stroudsburg, PA (Zone 6b)
Greenhouse Region: Pennsylvania
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MoonShadows
Apr 16, 2018 4:36 AM CST
Welcome to the NGA Forums, @WildflowerRunner.

Looks like the leader may have been damaged or broken off if one of the side branches has started to shoot up. I have a dogwood that lost it's leader in a storm and the same thing happen...one of the side branches has become the tall grower. How much sun is it getting? A Southern Magnolia likes full sun, but it can do well in a minimum of 4 hours of direct, unfiltered sun. They also like loamy or sandy soil that is acidic or at least pH neutral. It likes a lot of water, but the soil must drain well for the tree to thrive.
MoonShadows Farm - Good Eats & Treats from the Pocono Mountains
[Last edited by MoonShadows - Apr 16, 2018 4:37 AM (+)]
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springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
May 3, 2018 1:50 PM CST
It will not bloom w/o full sun. It may still do ok as a tree though.

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