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4 Factors That Can Harm Your Magnolia Tree

A Magnolia Tree Flower
Trees add a lot to your property. They can create shade, add color and definition, and increase your home's value. With potential heights of up to 80 feet and spreads of 40 feet, the Southern Magnolia tree can make a big statement in your landscape design. Of course, proper planting and care is essential if you want your magnolia to not only grow, but also thrive for many years to come.

Fortunately, professional help is available if you are not familiar with how to care for your magnolia trees. With this guide, you will learn a few factors that may be harming your magnolia tree.

1. Excess Sun/Insufficient Moisture

Magnolia trees will grow in sunny areas and warm climates. However, excess exposure to the sun when temperatures are hot can damage your magnolia tree.

Sun damage can display itself in different ways. In most cases, the sun will cause the leaves to wilt and eventually fall off the tree. The magnolia blooms may also start to turn brown and wilt.

You may think the solution to prevent further sun damage would be to dig the tree up and plant it in a new location that has more shade, but this is not recommended. Instead, consider planting larger trees around your magnolia to create shade and provide some relief from the intense light and heat of the sun.

Also, make sure to water your tree thoroughly especially during the warmer seasons. Surround the tree with mulch or pine straw to help trap in water, which will ensure your magnolia remains moist longer during the hotter temperatures.

2. Wet, Non-Acidic Soil

Your magnolia tree does need water during the warmer temperatures, but it should not be watered so much that water is starting to puddle up in the soil. If the soil is too wet, fungus may begin to grow in the roots and spread up through the tree.

Fungal disease that starts in the roots can quickly kill your tree, and it can also spread to nearby trees and shrubs that are planted close to the infected tree's roots. Make sure your magnolia tree is planted in well-drained soil that is sandy or loam.

A magnolia tree will also not grow and thrive in nutrient-poor soil. For the best growth, health, and appeal, the soil should be slightly acidic soils. If you are unsure of the nutrients and pH levels, consider having your soil tested by professionals.

3. Under- or Over-fertilizing

Most varieties of magnolia trees are durable, meaning they do not require a great deal of care to survive. However, fertilizer is helpful especially when you are hoping to strengthen the magnolia to ensure it can survive the changing temperatures and weather conditions that occur throughout the year. A slow-release balanced fertilizer applied in the spring is best, and the fertilizer should contain equal parts of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus.

A common misconception many people have is that the more fertilizer, the better. This is definitely not the case, since continually applying fertilizer throughout the year increases the risk of leaf scorch and root burn.

4. Improper Pruning

Although it is not actually necessary, pruning your magnolia tree can be beneficial. Pruning can help shape young trees to ensure they grow in an attractive manner, and pruning can also remove foliage and branches that are diseased, preventing infections and diseases from spreading further.

However, pruning too much off your tree or pruning the tree at the wrong time can affect the magnolia's look and growth. Trim young magnolia trees in the middle or late part of spring. The middle of summer or fall season are the best times to prune deciduous varieties of magnolia trees. Use sharpened shears to avoid making haphazard cuts, which will place too much stress on your magnolia limbs and branches.

For more information on caring for your magnolia tree, trust the professionals from Seasoned Tree Care.