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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Tuesday - November 10, 2009

From: Irving, TX
Region: Select Region
Topic: Trees
Title: Failure to thrive of newly planted magnolia in Irving TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I planted four Little Gem Magnolia (Magnolia Grandiflora) in my back yard during first week of October 2009. One of them seem to be dying because its leaves have turned very brown and the leaves are curling inwards. These are planted in ZIP 75062 which falls under zone 7b. Could you please help me save this shrub? Of late there was surplus rain. The soil is just moist and not water logged. Same soil condition with other magnolias. Please help.

ANSWER:

If we understand you correctly, you planted or had planted four Little Gem Magnolias just about a month ago, and one appears to be dying. Little Gem is a trade name for a shorter selection of Magnolia grandiflora (southern magnolia), which is known to be grown successfully in your area of North Central Texas. You didn't say if you purchased and planted the tree yourself, or if you had a landscaper plant it; but either way you need to go back to the source of this tree. To be dying this quickly, especially when planted in cooler weather and with the rains you have had, the tree had to be sick when it was purchased, or severely damaged at some point. Not even being root-bound in the pot would have caused it to begin to decline this quickly. A valuable tree should have some sort of a warranty that it was alive and well when you bought it, so talk to your supplier and ask for relief, hopefully in the form of a new, healthy tree. 

 

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