transplanted magnolia

LKLK(9)April 10, 2012

I had a very old magnolia (not sure variety) that died as a result of construction (we rebuilt our house) and a drought. We had it removed 4-5months ago. After consulting with an arborist, we had a new magnolia that is fairly mature (20ft tall and about 3ft in diameter) D.D. Blanchard Magnolia put in the same spot 3 weeks ago. The tree looked great with dark green leaves and buds that were about to flower. We pretty much followed the watering schedule (every day for the first week, every other day after that) missing only a couple of days. We hand watered for a 5min soaking around a 2 foot perimeter, careful not to soak the base of the trunk. about a week and a half ago the leaves started to turn brown/yellow and fall off. we have only had one flower come out. Did we damage our tree?? This was a very expensive tree and we need to keep it alive! Should I do some kind of fertilizer or acid treatment? For now we turn on that sprinkler so it will get a couple more watering sessions. I will try to put up pictures when it is light outside.

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

wow that is a GIANT transplant ...

no fert ... or acid ...

go out to the perimeter of the balled roots.. and dig down a foot.. and find out.. how far down .... the water you are providing.. is getting in the soil ...

your goal.. should be to wet the ENTIRE root mass ... and then let it NEAR DRY ...

and the only way to do that.. would be to insert your finger.. every few days.. thru the mulch i presume is there ... and find out what the soil is doing ...

is there a warranty??? .. if so.. discuss with seller.. as he should have a vested interest in success ...


    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 7:41AM
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so...the first question that comes to mind is...what was the weather like the last few days where you are? Specifically...have ya had any frosts?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 4:01PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

My interest is in hearing it was put in the same spot.

Last year I had the trunk of a large ash ground out. The soil near the hole just isnt near normal this year with all them rotting wood chips in it. Feels disgusting to dig in really.

Now if I dug a three foot deep twenty foot wide hole for a huge new tree that might aleviate the problem. Bit if I had put my crap crepe myrtle and its three foor by three foot rootball there it would be interacting with that rotting wood soil.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 10:56PM
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mainegrower(Z5b ME)

Magnolias are notoriously tricky to transplant because they have a brittle root system with sparse root hairs. Generally, container grown magnolias do better than b&b or freshly dug ones and big ones are trickier than small ones.

It's possible that 5 minutes of watering, even done every day, was not enough to wet the soil to a sufficient depth. Since, however, the tree was professionally installed and you seem to have followed the installer's instructions, I'd say you should definitely explore the warranty issue.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 5:35AM
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Ken: Ill try that, maybe we aren't watering long enough. There is supposed to be an 18month warranty. i have called the guy who put it in and he is coming to look at it tomorrow.

Strobiculate: no, no frosts we are in TX. Pretty mild...70s

Tornado: yes the same spot. we kinda built our house around the location of our old tree so that is why we chose the same spot. any suggestions about the soil?

mainegrower: so do you think the tree is a lost cause? there are still a lot of green leaves...sorry about no pic yet forgot when i got home last night.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 6:20AM
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here are pics, hope this works

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 8:30PM
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trying to post pic

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 8:35PM
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jqpublic(7b/8a Wake County NC)

This is a Southern Magnolia. Southern Magnolias bloom in the mid-to-late spring/early summer. In the spring they also drop leaves. Not all the leaves...but older leaves turn yellow and fall off in the late spring/early summer. Ours currently just started leaf-drop, and we have no flowers yet. Ours has been in the ground since 1987.

Also where are you located. When you type magnolia here, most on here will think you're talking about deciduous magnolias b/c those are common up north. It may be best to tell us where you live as well.

Also when you post pictures, just copy and paste the HTML code for the picture in here and it will post.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 11:31PM
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I am located in southeast texas. Thanks so much for all the advise. I am watering more because the ground does not seem to get saturated to the depth that Ken suggested. I am still pretty worried as it seemed to be a rapid yellowing and falling off of the leaves, when they planted the tree (container grown) it was all gorgeous dark green leaves then poof! Is there a difference between a southern magnolia and a D.D. Blanchard?

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 6:14AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

interior browning.. of an evergreen is NORMAL ...

and complicated/increased by transplant ...

no 'evergreen' .. holds its leaves forever ...

and the ones sacrificed on transplant.. are the interior ones ...

life is all in the buds ... and from the ONE PIC i looked at.. those look pretty good ...

in PBucket.. USE THE HTML CODE ... and on post preview.. if you see the pic.. we will ... [NOT!!! the image code]

do let us know what the seller says ..

and do INSURE proper watering.. i dont want to be accused of killing it with too much water.. if you dont take the time to INSURE you are doing it right ...

the goal is DEEP thorough watering.. and then near drying before the next watering.. insert finger.. REPEATEDLY ...

good luck


    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 7:43AM
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It's appearance is consist with the trauma its been through.

I'm surprised it's not staked right must have been quite a large rootball. Was it one of those large tree spades (attached to the back of a truck) that put it in?

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 9:41AM
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jqpublic(7b/8a Wake County NC)

No offense to the northern folks, but this tree looks good. The yellowing of the leaves looks normal for a Southern Magnolia in SE TX this time of year. Since it's a new transplant it looks a little behind (i'm sure most S Mags down there have new leaves). If you look at yours you can see where the buds have broken and new leaves are beginning to emerge. The rounded buds will be flowers and the thinner buds are going to be leaves. Your little buddy looks good. Continue w/ the watering, but don't over water.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 8:20PM
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