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Worried my newly planted magnolia tree has transplant shock - any advise?

I bought mature magnolia tree a couple of weeks ago which the garden centre came and planted for me. I don't know a lot about gardening and didn't want to risk planting it wrong given that is was so expensive! However I've noticed that it does not seem to be thriving as I would expect - the leaves appear to be curling and some discolouring of the newer top leaves. Is it suffering from transplant shock? What can be I do if this is the case? Or is this normal and would you expect it to pick up over the coming weeks? I don't want to leave doing nothing in case it goes too far and can't be revived. I plan on contacting the garden centre for some advise too but thought I'd run it by here first. Thanks in advance. 


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700
    It looks OK to me. Remember, they are evergreen so not all leaves look picture perfect. Some will go yellow and drop off. Other things to make sure on - it gets protection from cold winds and always best planted with plenty of sun, so a southerly/southwest aspect to help it settle in, otherwise they will struggle.

    I'm not so sure about the support it's getting, the cane looks too tight against the main branch. I would recommend a bit of space between that and trunk or put in another stake diagonally along the lower section of the trunk and tie in there. Others might have more opinions on that.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,744
    am I the only person who has never heard of "transplant shock"?
  • purplerallimpurplerallim Posts: 5,228
    What variety of magnolia is it? It seems to be a long way on growing leaves as mine is only just finishing flowering and the leaves are just unfurling, yours look very dark green. Did you see where this plant was kept before you bought it? Might it have been inside and its temperature not planting that has upset it?
  • looking at it for the first time it probably does look ok but given that all the leaves were pristine prior to planting and it looking significantly less healthy since then i can only guess it is not happy for some season. it was planted by the garden centre i purchased it from and  they assured me the soil and position were suitable. i too had not heard of transplant shock until this morning when i googled possible problems lol! i’m hoping it may be a case of under watering and i’m not drenching it enough. i was concerned it couid be over watered.  my worry is that it continues to wilt and discolour and not pick up but perhaps i need to just increase watering and be patient. 
  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Posts: 8,271
    It's hard to over-water a plant in open ground (ie not in a pot), unless your garden is very poorly drained - it's much more likely to be suffering from lack of water.  I'd guess that it was "mollycoddled" in the garden centre, with protection from wind in particular, and those big evergreen leaves have been battered by strong winds since it was planted in your garden.  Keep watering!
    Since 2019 I've lived in east Clare, in the west of Ireland.
  • thanks for your comments. looking at the photos more closely im wondering if the stress of the move has left it prone to attack by insects/disease as some of the leaves look like they have been eaten and have black spots on them. Really stuck what to do - garden center have been pretty useless and I fear the tree might die if i don't figure out whats wrong. 
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700
    edited May 2019
    Leaves half nibbled happens, and leaf spots caused either by bacteria or fungal, most trees should be able to shake it off. A well watered and well mulched tree/shrub will be able to fight off a fair few leaf spot diseases. The most important thing is to water thoroughly, especially going into the summer months.

    Be prompt to remove any fallen leaves. Because there are so few leaves, it is very easy to concentrate on a few unsightly leaves. If you look at the shrub behind your newly planted tree, there are signs of possible shot-hole disease and an aphid attack. It may be unsightly, but can be pruned out or left so long as all dead and fallen leaves around its base are promptly removed.
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy Posts: 6,562
    I agree keep watering unless you are lucky and have good rain, a little feed with dilute seaweed tonic will not go amiss. 
    AB Still learning

  • A friend recommended a seaweed tonic - I gave it one about an hour ago so fingers crossed it picks up! Will also be sure to remove all the fallen leaves too - great advice - thanks  for replies. 
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