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Magnolia Trees are losing their leaves at an alarming rate

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GayG
Joined: 3/30/2006
Location: Longview, Texas
Posts: 25
Posted: Apr/28/2006 6:31 PM PST

I seem to be asking a lot about trees, but here's another one. I have two huge magnolia trees in my front yard that are as old as the house, I guess, about 50 years old.

2 years ago I had lower limbs removed from them and later in the spring put out fertilizer in the yard (and around the trees). A few weeks later one of the trees (the smaller one) started dropping leaves like crazy out of the top. Fast forward to this year. About 2 weeks ago, I fertilized the yard and under the trees again and the tree is dropping leaves again. It looks pitiful, the top is almost gone!! They always shed a few leaves this time of year when they start blooming, but this is not normal.

I don't know what kind of fertilizer it is, the bag got wet and I transferred it to a plastic bucket, but it was Scott's lawn fertilizer something or other .

Any ideas anyone? I really need some advice.

thanks, Gay
GayG
Joined: 3/30/2006
Location: Longview, Texas
Posts: 25
Posted: Apr/28/2006 8:59 PM PST

Thank you Ron. I was afraid that was the problem. Can you tell me what I should do now? Is there anything that will counter the effect of the fertilizer??? I honestly did not know , obviously, that it would harm the trees . Now I feel like crying, knowing it was something stupid that I did that hurt my trees. [SIZE="1"]sniff[/SIZE]
GayG
Joined: 3/30/2006
Location: Longview, Texas
Posts: 25
Posted: Apr/29/2006 12:43 PM PST

I honestly don't remember which fertilizer it was, as I said the bag got wet and I transferred the contents to a 10 gal bucket, but it's a white granular powder. I used it in a broadcast spreader over the lawn which looks dead by the way, but that's another story. I got in and around the trees because I'm finally getting a little grass to grow under them.

Any suggestions what to do now? We're getting heavy thunderstorms right now , so maybe the rain will wash some of it away?
treeman blog photos
Joined: 3/29/2002
Location:
Posts: 2874
Posted: Apr/29/2006 6:00 PM PST

I think I have the same reservations as Ron.... many of Scotts fertilizers contain broad leaf herbicides. If it was a pre-emergent that is active in the soil, then there is a possibility that the tree is sensitive to it. Thats a big if of course, depeending upon whether the fertilizer contained a herbicide.

I have never liked weed & feed formulations. While it is a timesaver, it is awfully easy to be careless, assuming it must be safe everywhere or they wouldn't package them together. It s far better to fetrtilze and herbicide in seperate operations. You tend to be much more aware of what you are applying and where, which is the way it ought to be when you use poisons..
GayG
Joined: 3/30/2006
Location: Longview, Texas
Posts: 25
Posted: Apr/29/2006 6:44 PM PST

Thanks to both of you for your input and information. While there is nothing I can do to help the situation, I have learned a valuable lesson. I'm going to let Mother Nature takes it's course, but maybe I'll just scatter a little compost around on the dead looking spots in the yard :o .

thanks again.
Gaylene
GayG
Joined: 3/30/2006
Location: Longview, Texas
Posts: 25
Posted: Apr/29/2006 9:28 PM PST

I think you're right! There had to be something in it besides fertilizer for them to have that kind of reaction. And boy, do they ever have shallow roots close to the surface!! That's the reason I have such a hard time getting grass to grow within 15-20 feet of them, which, by the way takes up most of my front yard. My neighborhood has an abundance of magnolias; I guess back in late 50's & early 60's magnolias were the tree of choice around here. I personally love to look at them, but couldn't in good conscience recommend them because of the shallow root system, huge leaves that seem to drop for months on end and the magnolia pods are ankle breakers! Last summer I paid my 2 grandsons a penny for each magnolia pod they picked up and I ended up paying them $5 each! And there was a patch still on the ground.

Oh well, I think I've about beaten this dead horse to death! We'll move on to something new.

Thanks again for your help.

Gaylene
ChristaCarol13
Joined: 4/28/2006
Location: TEXAS
Posts: 46
Posted: Apr/30/2006 2:56 AM PST

Your thread caught my eye, mainly because when I was shopping for my fruit trees last week, I noticed how bad all the magnolia trees were looking. The associate that worked there said he has no idea why all the magnolia trees are having issues, but my neighbor's is also looking pretty sad. I doubt that has anything to do with yours lol, but I just thought I'd post this for some random reason. I Live in texas too. Glad to have a fellow texan on the board! I've seen lots of us.
GayG
Joined: 3/30/2006
Location: Longview, Texas
Posts: 25
Posted: May/01/2006 11:24 PM PST

Hey ChristaCarol, Always good to hear from a fellow Texan!!! Love your avatar by the way, she's beautiful! And your right, the magnolias don't look as good when they're getting ready to bloom, I guess all of their energy goes into those beautiful magnolia blossoms.
GayG
Joined: 3/30/2006
Location: Longview, Texas
Posts: 25
Posted: May/02/2006 2:16 PM PST

I was going to post a picture, but I don't know how. I have pics of both of my magnolia trees in the Photo Gallery, but can't figure out how to get an image url.
ChristaCarol13
Joined: 4/28/2006
Location: TEXAS
Posts: 46
Posted: May/02/2006 2:39 PM PST

go to photobucket.com you can store your pics there for free, and they give you a url. then you post your url between img and /img with [] around them.
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