We are getting lots of calls in the office about people’s Magnolia(s)leaves dropping off their tree this time of year.  Let’s start with the best news of all; this is completely normal for Magnolia trees at this time of the year. Magnolias are notorious for leaf drop just before flowering. While magnolias are evergreen (never drop all of their leaves at once), individual leaves do not live forever. Eventually, a generation of leaves grows old and dies. Magnolias yellow and drop these old leaves in spring as they begin to bloom. As alarming as this looks, this leaf drop is normal and no cause for alarm. (Fallen leaves often exhibit spots and blemishes, but this does not indicate a disease.) The amount of leaf drop can vary from year to year and often involves a good percentage of the foliage., It may look a little thin after the leaf drop, but the new growth that will occur later will fill the tree back in. And it will always be more pronounced because of winter freezes. The Magnolia shedding leaves is not life-threatening, and technically there’s nothing that has to be fixed.  Fannin does have a recommended “RX” to follow to help the tree(s) though this rough time.

Let me explain the ‘normalcy’ of the present situation. Usually, from April through May, Magnolia trees are pushing a lot of energy into making the much-sought-after blooms. They often “rob Peter to pay Paul” so to speak, by taking energy away from the leaves of the tree and pushing that energy towards making that flush of blooms. So, maybe 5-10 percent of the leaves are, in essence, shut down and shunned during that transaction. This is normally a short-lived problem.

Fannin Tree Farms RX for Magnolia’s During the Spring Push and Hot Summers
  1. Use your Superthrive on the Magnolia(s) every other week for 2 months.  On the third month go to monthly.
  2. Do the April Fannin Professional Fertilizer treatment and then again in August.  Magnolia’s expressly like a granular fertilizer since they have suck tiny roots on the surface.
  3. Magnolias like consistent watering. Keep the root ball moist.  Consistent moisture is the key to keeping the magnolia happy.
  4. Magnolias have lots of fine roots close to the surface of the ground. During hot summer months, it is recommended that you deep water the tree on opposite days your irrigation system goes off, so the smaller surface roots get additional water in between the deep root watering.