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12 messages
25/04/2012 at 09:16

What can have killed my 10 year old Magnolia Stellata.  Last year it was beautiful - this year it has failed to show any signs of life at all.  Any ideas on what could have killed it?  Also, if I plant another one in the same place is it likely to die too?

25/04/2012 at 10:00

What a shame. Unusual for this hardy plant to die without warning after being established for so long.I'd be reluctant to replant with anything valuable, especially the same species, without having a good idea of the cause. Did it show any symptoms, like leaves yellowing over the summer, or oozing from the bark, or toadstools in the autumn?

25/04/2012 at 10:03

Two things come to mind - waterlogging and low temperatures. If you had a very cold winter in 2010, it might have weakened the tree, and a second cold spell finished it off.

Re-planting in the same area - you would need to improve the soil, as the tree will have taken a lot out of it, but other than that I think you'd be OK.

25/04/2012 at 10:06

Cross-posted, Goldilocks

I don't know about Lincs, but there were a few magnolias which turned up their toes after the very cold winter we had here, hence my thought that it would probably be OK to re-plant.

25/04/2012 at 10:46

My magnolia stellata has not actually died, quite - but there is not a sign of a single flower thisy yar, and it is usually covered.   Will give it much TLC, feeeding etc as possible this year, but am beginning to have my doubts about its long term future having read these posts. 

25/04/2012 at 11:13

Thanks for the replies.  There were no signs last year of anything wrong but after winter 2010 being extremely cold we did have another very cold snap this year.  Also, how are magnolias with drought as I have never watered it since it became established?

25/04/2012 at 12:48

 It's all very strange. Magnolia stellata is hardy to -25 C and lower, according to the magnolia specialist sites, and it grows in Zone 4, -28C, in its native Japan. My MIL had one in her garden in Wales, 1000 feet up, where we had night temperatures of -13 C and never above -3 C for two weeks one winter, and it was fine. 

Magnolia stellata has moderate drought tolerance when established as yours was, provided it is planted in good moisture holding soil, ideally acidic, though it will do well in alkaline soil in humus rich soil. If your magnolia was suffering from drought then I think you would have noticed it shed quite a lot of its leaves. 

I have lost most of my ceanothus, all my established bay trees, and my two chenomeles Crimson and Gold have been cut dead to the base, where there is some new growth. I have never had this before. The chaenomeles is supposed to be as hardy as the magnolia stellata hybrid that has just flowered brilliantly in my alkaline soil - down to -25 C!!

Maybe it is the cold weather - maybe very hardy plants grown in relatively mild climates get 'soft' and then are vulnerable  to unusually low temperatures. MIL's stellata was used to much cold winters, so maybe it grew up tough. 

I have decided that I am going to replace my ceanothus (Concha) with the same variety, in the same spot, with added Rootgrow. I am taking a risk, but I can't believe we'll have two such hard winters again for quite a few years. Maybe you should do the same. 

25/04/2012 at 14:46

Our Magnolia  Stellata has been a shadow of its former self. Usually it is covered in flowers but this year we had three. The branches were covered in lichen. We had a look at the roots and gave it a good feed and see what happens.

25/04/2012 at 15:22

My Magnolia stellata is about 30 years old and the branches are covered in lichen - I don't think this harms the tree.

Last year my Bottlebrush tree had to very,very severely pruned as it

http://i1131.photobucket.com/albums/m551/lilylouise1/spring026.jpg

 

http://i1131.photobucket.com/albums/m551/lilylouise1/bottlebrush004.jpg

 

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f350/streptocarpus/garden972010015.jpg

looked almost dead after the horrid winter we had - I thought it wasn't going to survive but it did,thank goodness

25/04/2012 at 15:36

Hi Lilylouise, lovely pictures. Our magnolia is about 5 years old. It doesn't seem to grow much but until now it has always had a lot of flowers.

29/04/2012 at 21:35
Will persevere with my magnolia there's always next year
10/05/2012 at 21:28

i just bought a magnolia stellata, and now i'm wondering why!   for what it's worth, the local garden centre plant "doctor" told me that magnolias which are subjected to cold winds, even in early winter, suffer damage to the buds which are not yet properly formed, and this can result in no flowers.  he was very definite that it must be planted against a wall facing west, or south, but never where the morning sun can cause the buds to suffer frost burn.  all the surviving mag. stellatas that i know, were well wrapped this winter.  it sounds as though we had very similar conditions to yours (i'm in switzerland).  

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