We had a flood last spring in our trailer park. My tree has not come back from then, no leaves or blooms. It is about 10 or 12 ft. tall. I don't know what to do or if it can be saved. There are small buds on it but they are not doing anything. Is it dead or will it come back?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Most magnolias do not like water-logged soil. They have a shallow root system which will decay rapidly if it is left in standing water. Here is an extension article that discusses the effect that flooding has on trees. Sometimes the full impact of flooding is not seen until the following year.
Is your tree dead or alive? Let's check it for signs of life. Open up one of those buds. Buds that are still green and moist inside are alive. I would also give your magnolia a scratch test - information on how to do that can be found here: http://www.starkbros.com/growing-guide/article/how-to-do-a-scratch-test/
As with the bud test, "green is good".
If you find signs of life then I would just take a 'wait and see' approach. Your tree may just need time to recover from the flooding trauma. In the meantime, I would just ensure that the magnolia's care plan is being adhered to, which is outlined in the following article: