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Newly planted magnolia tree is dying.

Discussion in 'Trees' started by Trewsie, Jun 12, 2010.

  1. Trewsie

    Trewsie Apprentice Gardener

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    I hope someone here can help me. I planted a lovely magnolia tree in my garden 6 weeks ago and I am sure it is dying. I don't know what to do. The flowers all withered and fell off and no leaves have appeared. I have only recently moved in to my new home and am trying to get the garden into shape, but I am fairly new to gardening. Please help. Thanks. I have planted several other trees and many plants and they are all thriving, so I'm unsure about what I've done wrong with the Magnolia tree.
     
  2. Rhyleysgranny

    Rhyleysgranny Gardener

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    Snip off the end of one of the branches with secateurs. If it is green inside it is still alive. Was it very pot bound when you got it? That is were the roots all wrapped round and round and little compost? How did you plant it? have you been watering it?
    Sorry need to know questions :)
     
  3. Trewsie

    Trewsie Apprentice Gardener

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    Thank you very much for your prompt reply. No, it wasn't very pot bound when I first got it. I have planted it underneath some decorative stone at the bottom of my garden in a sunny place, not obscured by any other trees. Is it a problem that I buried it under the gravel? I dug down deeply and cut a hole in the sheeting? Sorry if this sounds stupid but how often should I be watering it? I will go and snip at it now and report back. Thank you.
     
  4. Trewsie

    Trewsie Apprentice Gardener

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    It is white inside, Does that mean it is dead? It was still green two weeks ago; I asked my mother in law to have a look at it and she said it wasn't dead then. Am so disappointed. Just wondering if I have been watering it enough? Is it too late? Thanks
     
  5. Rhyleysgranny

    Rhyleysgranny Gardener

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    Did you dig a really big hole for it and add good compost? These are necessary really for a tree. It doesn't sound good if the inside is not green. You could try pruning it a bit and then feeding. You have nothing to lose but I am afraid it doesn't sound good for your magnolia. New plants/shrubs/trees need a bit of looking after when they are planted until they get a good root system going. Things dry out very quickly at this time of year even if it has rained. Always dig a hole much bigger than you need and put good compost into it before planting the tree. You really need to keep it well watered and feed it with appropriate fertiliser. Get another one and do this. Disappointing I know but it happens to us all.:o
     
  6. Victoria Plum

    Victoria Plum Gardener

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    It might not be your fault at all, it might be your soil type. I believe magnolias like acidic soil, if you're on chalk it could be that it doesn't have the right acidity for it.
     
  7. Trewsie

    Trewsie Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi, thanks to you both for your replies.

    I've hacked it back, put loads of compost down and watered it; whether it will revive it or not I don't know. When I dug down, I found a piece of netting which was over the bottom of the plant which I must have missed when planting it out. I feel fairly certain I should have removed this when I planted it out and can't understand why I missed it. Could this have been the reason?

    I'm just sorry that I've made such a stupid mistake. Anyway, live and learn, I suppose.
     
  8. pete

    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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    I cant think you did much wrong, most problems with planting would have caused it to die slowly, yours however seems to have died rapidly.

    I can only think of a late frost that might have caught the new shoots, or it was under watered at some stage.

    It could possibly recover but might shoot from much lower down.
    Rather than cut the end off a shoot, I would just scrape the bark to see if its green underneath, the wood in the centre of the stem will be white, its not an indication that the plant is dead.
     
  9. Palmatum

    Palmatum Apprentice Gardener

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    We have around 60 Magnolias here, and they can be very tough to establish, especially when planted in Spring.

    The netting that you've found might suggest that it was a bare-rooted plant that was then potted up (the roots are wrapped in hessian or plastic netting to contain them when they are lifted out of the soil) prior to you buying it. Generally the roots will push through this without too much problem, so it's unlikely that this caused your issue.

    Magnolias certainly don't require acid soil, in the same way that a Rhododendron does, say, and should NOT be planted with general purpose compost filling the planting hole - this will pretty much guarantee swift root rot. Your problem is almost certainly root related though. Either the roots dried out at some point after planting, or they rotted off due to cold and wet - which is extremely common in Spring planted Magnolias. If there are still some intact roots then the plant may regrow, but otherwise not.
     
  10. redstar

    redstar Total Gardener

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    If I plant something like that, in the early part of summer, I will run a hose to near its base and turn the water on very low and just leave it running for several hours each day for about a good week.
     
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