Please help us identify the problem and advise how to help this tree
Holly_janel Posts: 1
We’ve recently bought a piece of land with a 50’ magnolia tree(one of my favorite trees) and it’s seems in great distress. What is wrong and is there anything we can do?
Late this winter I put cheap wooden edging round it so I could pour on 6 more bags of ericaceous compost and some pelleted chicken manure over a bigger root area and not have it all fall or blow away while it settled. I have filled this extra depth with spring bulbs from containers and, once these have all died back, it will get another feed and a mulch of chipped bark after replacing the wooden edging with stones.
This spring it is full of flower buds all opening at the same time in the last day or so. It remains to be seen how well the foliage does but clearly it is in much better nick this year. I have put bird feeders nearby to attract birds that will, with any luck, eat the leaf munchers if they return. Fingers crossed. I don't use sprays.
"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.
If it's Bacterial Leaf Spot, check for any cankers/wounds or other entry points like cracks in the branches. It's a bit more rare, but also possible, it all depends on the health of branches and trunk. Again, once infected, the tree will weaken and the leaves will start with spots and then they grown larger enough to create holes.
In both instances, you need to prune off some of the branches to create air flow and minimise the dense branches where leaves are crowded. A tree growing in too much shade may cause the issue again, so it's important to thin out if it is planted in quite a shaded area. Start collected and raking away any fallen leaves straight away. Good hygiene is needed, so all blades used must be cleaned well before and after pruning.