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Q.Magnolia Issue

Zone Kingston, Ontario, Canada | Anonymous added on July 9, 2023 | Answered

Yellow flower magnolia, planted several years ago, has always flowered and did this late spring but, suddenly, about half of the leaves got droopy, then turned brown, many have fallen off – but, on the same branches (at their ends) there are still green leaves, looking healthy enough, and other branches appear fine – about half of the tree seems to be suffering this issue. We had it sprayed in the spring so I don’t think it’s a fungal issue. Very odd. What to do?

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on July 10, 2023

Check to see if new leaves are replacing the ones that dropped. If they are, that is good news. It could just be a case of "out with the old, in with the new."

Another possibility is tree borers. The larvae bore holes in the trees and feed inside the tree. Another insect that can affect magnolias is scale.

Magnolias prefer a slightly acidic soil. You may want to get yours tested to be sure it is not alkaline, which can cause issues.

Of the common magnolia diseases below, it sounds most like wood rot. That is not a good scenario, so I would have it checked by an arborist for advice if it sounds like that is what is going on.



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