Tree Of The Month: The Southern Magnolia

When people think of magnolia trees, particularly the southern magnolia, they often think of states in the deep South such as Alabama, Georgia, or Mississippi, which bears the nickname “the Magnolia State.”

While these trees are commonly found throughout the southern states, the southern magnolia is also quite at home in Missouri, though they are considered to be non-native to Missouri.The Southern Magnolia

What Do Southern Magnolias Look Like?

Southern magnolias are magnificent trees. Reaching up to 80 feet in height, the southern magnolia features a tall, full crown with a pyramid shape, its lower branches spreading wide and creating large amounts of shade.

The southern magnolia is a broadleaf evergreen, though during harsh winters with cold temperatures it will drop its leaves. The leaves of a healthy southern magnolia are deep green, almost elliptical in shape, and large, reaching up to ten inches in length. The leaves of southern magnolias are thicker than those of most trees.

Probably the signature feature of the southern magnolia is its large, fragrant white flowers, which grow to approximately eight to 12 inches in length and are in full bloom in May and June.

Where Do They Grow Best?

As the name would imply, southern magnolias are generally found in southeastern states, extending as far west as Texas. They prefer moist, rich soil in areas with partial shade to full sun. They do not tolerate soggy or extremely dry soil, thriving in the broad middle range between the extremes. They also adapt well to soil with above average clay content, which is typical in many areas of the south as well as Missouri.

Regarding weather, southern magnolias prefer weather conditions normally found in the south and southeast, which are warmer than those typically found in the St. Louis area and throughout Missouri.

Finally, their sturdy trunks and branches enable them to withstand the windstorms common in Missouri during the spring.

What Are The Main Threats To Southern Magnolias?

An extremely hardy species, the southern magnolia generally has no notable problems with infestations from pests such as the leaf miner, galls, lace bugs, borers, caterpillars and weevils. In addition, the southern magnolia is regarded as not being susceptible to diseases such as shoestring root rot, anthracnose, leaf blister, cankers, leaf spots and powdery mildew which afflict many species of trees in Missouri.

How Should Southern Magnolias Be Used In Landscaping?

Southern magnolias make excellent shade trees for large lawns or open spaces, where their majestic look, height, leaves and flowers make it a commanding featured tree. A mature southern magnolia can take center stage, dominating a landscape.

While this is its most attractive feature in terms of use in landscaping, it also means homeowners should take care in choosing a location for a southern magnolia. With a mature spread of 30 to 50 feet in diameter, southern magnolias require a large amount of space for healthy growth and maximum visual impact.

Is The Southern Magnolia Right For You And Your Home? Consult With The Experts At Hansen’s Tree Service Today!

Our certified arborists are experts at assessing which species of tree best meets a homeowner’s objectives and environment. Their extensive experience with hundreds of tree species can make a crucial difference when it comes to helping you decide which trees are right for you. Chances are that the willow oak is just one of many trees that will help you beautify and get the most out of your property.

Contact us today and let our insured, experienced professionals take care of all your tree-related needs!






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