Thursday, May 5, 2011

Magnolia Trees

There are dozens upon dozens of varieties of magnolia trees available for planting.  They come as either trees or shrubs and can be evergreen or deciduous.  The southern magnolia grandiflora is well known for it's large white flowers and thick, glossy green leaves with coppery bottoms.  Around our house and throughout our neighborhood, we appear to have saucer magnolias or Magnolia x soulangeana.  The trees have already bloomed and dropped their flowers here in eastern Pennsylvania, but I was lucky enough to take some pictures to show you.  Take a stroll and marvel at these beautiful trees! 




These neighbors have two trees along their driveway.
The blooms are a mix of pinks and creamy whites.



This tree sits proudly in front of a garage.  You can clearly see how this one has been allowed to have a multi-stemmed trunk.  If you prune the tree while it's still young, it can be trained to have one dominant trunk.


 
Saucer magnolias can grow as tall as 25 feet. The actual flowers can grow to be 10" in diameter and will bloom before their leaves appear.

 

In front of this stately home is a giant oak tree.  Immediately behind it is the granddaddy of all Magnolias
in our neighborhood. 

 
Here's a closeup.  This tree is gigantic, beautiful and well cared for.  Nature at its best. 




If you're thinking of planting magnolias on your property either from seed, ball and burlap or from containers, pick your site with great care.  Magnolias have complex root systems that are quite sensitive and will not fare well if they are disturbed or if the soil is compacted around their base.  They do best by themselves and don't like to be crowded, so give them plenty of space and good draining, slightly acidic soil.  I seem to like just about any tree, but I honestly think that these have become one of my favorites. 

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