Magnolia 'Sunsation'

daisy_me(Z6b IL)July 12, 2013

What can you tell me about Magnolia 'Sunsation'?

I planted one many years ago, and while it has gone from a 3' stick to a 10' or so "shrub", it certainly has not begun to look like a tree. I'll admit, I knew nothing about it when I purchased/planted it, other than I liked the blooms (shame on me!). It's been in the ground since 2005, in full sun.

In your experience, does it usually remain in more of a shrub form? Or does it eventually begin to take more of a tree form?

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

hard to give you much advice w/o a pic ...

but i never met a shrub.. which turned itself into a tree .... all by its lonesome ....

its a matter of its owner.. forcing it.. thru pruning.. into the shape they want ...

get a good tree pruning saw.. and start whacking on it ... and make it what you want.. whose in charge in your garden anyway.. the plants????

advise if you wish instruction on how to make a proper cut.. etc ....

ken

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 1:12PM
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bboy(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Many kinds of trees, whether planted as trees or as shrubs, build up into tree shapes later in life. This is particularly common among supposedly dwarf conifer cultivars, such as clones sold as Pinus strobus 'Nana' - and a thousand others.

The very common Magnolia grandiflora 'Little Gem' often grows for some years in a comparatively broad and bushy fashion, only to eventually transform into a taller and narrower tree shape - the original seedling was almost columnar.

Keep or make yours happy with ferilizing, mulching and watering as needed - instead of whacking on it - and see what it does. It will probably become more arborescent over time.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 5:29PM
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daisy_me(Z6b IL)

I think Bboy described it best, mine is currently "broad and bushy" and "almost columnar". Not at all like the Magnolias I remember from my childhood in the South.

And Ken, yes, sometimes the plants rule. Only because I find I don't have enough time or knowledge sometimes to keep them under my rule! ;-) That's why I'm thankful for GW and the helpful folks who hang out here.

I'll admit, I have not fertilized this tree since planting it, but I'm going to give it a try and see what happens. At this point, it can't hurt, and maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised.

Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 11:25AM
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bboy(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

If it looks lush and healthy it may not need fertilizer. One way to get a look into the situation is a soil test. Fertilizing can hurt, in that if there is plenty of a particular mineral already present adding more may come to produce a toxicity - too much phosphorus, for instance, which is hard to get rid of, and often present in fairly (or quite) high amounts in some frequently sold formulations.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 1:12PM
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