Magnolia Soulangeana help!
(Shortened version at bottom)
I have a Magnolia Soulangeana in the front garden that I bought circa 3/4 years ago. It had been completely healthy until earlier this year, where I noticed that one of the main stems/branches had a section that had been stripped back revealing the inside. I don’t know any technical terms, but I could see an inside tube, so it seemed like the outer layer on this 2 inch or so section had been completely stripped.
I googled, and saw somewhere recommend to cover the section securely with moss and see how it goes. Well I did that. But now I have a tree where anything/any branches UNDER the damage are growing fine with lots of new shoots, but anything OVER the damage, including on other branches/stems have seemingly died, with no leaves, dried dusty buds, and completely brown inside when pruned.
Anyway, I started pruning away the dead bits today. But I’m stuck on what to do with the leader. At the bottom it has some shoots coming off it, but at the top it seems completely dead. I want the magnolia to be a tree not a shrub, but I don’t want the whole thing to die. Do I cut the leader back to where new shoots are growing? Or do I leave it as is, maybe cut of some branches just leaving the stem, and hope it revives back next year?
Extra info: the magnolia is probably about 6 and 1/2 feet tall. I also think the damage was either caused by deer or rabbits.
Please help I don’t want it to die
too long didn’t read —— Severe damage to magnolia. Above damage seems dead, under seems alive with new growth. Do I cut leader back to new growth and then have to live with it as shrub, or keep leader and hope that because it has growth at bottom the top may recover?
The leader by the way wasn’t the one that was damaged.