Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

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. 

 

More Trees Questions

Root rot in trees near Lake Wenatchee State Park, WA
June 26, 2011 - Lake Wenatchee State Park, WA has been closed due to root rot for a year. I own a cabin 1 mile from the State Park. I cannot find a single piece of information about whether private property near th...
view the full question and answer

Are hollies toxic?
December 18, 2008 - Can I use holly from my landscaping to decorate food at Christmas?
view the full question and answer

Possible sawflies on loblolly pine (Pinus taeda)
May 03, 2011 - My pine trees looked great a week ago, now one from top to bottom is almost without needles. It is covered with greenish caterpillars. They have several stripes down their back . Could these be saw fl...
view the full question and answer

Dirt piled up around trunk of cypress tree in Lakeland FL
October 02, 2009 - I have a 30-40 foot cypress tree that has just started looking like it is dying..limbs on top are drooping badly. In April of this year we put probably 3 feet of dirt/clay around the bottom of it, wa...
view the full question and answer

Will damage to live oak root make it more susceptible to oak wilt
December 24, 2012 - Hi. I knicked the root of a live oak when digging. Will this hurt the tree and make it more succeptible to wilt? Is there something I can use to protect the exposed part of the root and make it les...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.