Magnolia Yellow Lantern

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Magnolia Yellow Lantern

Postby viette1id » Mon Sep 05, 2011 12:37 pm

I planted the 6 foot tree in Avon Connecticut in plenty of sun in June 2009 and fed it 10-10-10; through the summer (it had plenty of water) its leaves slowly turned brown and fell

The next spring (2010), no flowers emerged, but some leaves (about 65% of when planted) did develop but they were smaller than the original as if they did not fully develop. These leaves started to show browning spots/curling edges as if due to insects; Bayer Advanced Tree and Shrub Insect Control was applied along with a1010-10 feed to no effect. Simultaneously, a few new leaves not looking very healthy sprouted.

Thinking the tree might be root bound, I uprooted it in late June and quartered the root ball and spread it out. It continued as before (shedding some browning/curling leaves and producing a few unhealthy looking new leaves) for the rest of the season.

This year, again no flowers, but even fewer leaves (about 35% of whwn planted). Thinking it might be lacking nitrogen, I fed it miracle gfrow 30-10-10 every other week. It does seem to be producing a few more more of the small unhealthy looking leaves.

I have now reached the end of my (very short) green thumb. I'd sure like to learn if there is something(s) I can do to get the tree back to its original healthy status or conclude that its beyond recuperation.
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Re: Magnolia Yellow Lantern

Postby lorijones » Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:36 pm

This doesn't appear to be a fertilizer problem although 10-10-10 can burn roots and foliage and isn't really the best fertilizer for trees. A slow release organic fertilizer such as Espoma Holly-tone would be a better choice. These trees prefer an acidic soil.
It probably isn't an insect problem. They are not usually bothered by insect pests.
It could be a watering problem. You say that it had plenty of water but how did you water? These trees do best in well-drained moist soil, but wet, soggy soil is fatal. Water slowly and deeply when you water and water only every 2 weeks unless you get rain.
When you dug it up and split the roots, you would have given the tree a shock and it may take some time for it to recover.
This tree is also intolerant of air pollution which could cause the symptoms you are seeing. This is usually only a problem in an urban environment, though and you don't appear to live in a very urban area.
The best thing to do at this point is to feed the tree with Holly-tone, green sand, and rock phosphate according to label directions. You might try adding Tree and Shrub Thrive ( to improve the tree's ability to take up nutrients and water. This product will improve the growth of the tree and its root system.
I think it will gradually improve over time if you try these suggestions. Good luck!
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Re: Magnolia Yellow Lantern

Postby viette1id » Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:15 pm

Thanks much for the suggestions. Except for the Holly Tone, I am not familiar with the other products. I will apply all of them and post the results. I agree that air polution should not be a problem. I also will do some soil testing. I should probably further add that many varities of wild flowers/weeds thrive at the base of it and the soil appears healthy in other parts of the lawn.
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