Q. My Southern magnolia tree doesn't look healthy.

My husband and I have lived in our home since 1987. It was built in 1938. We have a Southern Magnolia tree in our backyard. I think it was planted when the home was built or shortly thereafter, as I know the original owner was a member of the PA Horticultural Society. We live north west of Philadelphia and do not see many Southern Magnolias in the area. Over the years we've seen it look droopy. One year an ice storm hit it hard but it bounced back. Last year there were quite a few leafless (maybe dead) branches. I thought it would be better this year but it is not. There is a drastic reduction in the amount of leaves. Many of the branches are leafless and look dead. There is a drastic reduction of leaves and pods on the ground. However, it did bloom in the spring, although not as magnificently as usual. I am very worried. Do you have a department that I could pay someone to come out and look at the tree and offer suggestions or could you offer suggestions without seeing the tree. Or, could you suggest who I could call that does this type of thing. I thank you in advance for your kind attention to this matter.


If your tree was planted in 1938 it is suprising that it has done as well as it has. Some southern magnolias have relatively recently been developed to thrive in the Philadelphia area. In general these trees like a certain amount of wind protection. Older trees of this vintage will defoliate as well as become leaf scorched by excessive wind and sun. Get in touch with a certified arborist company in your area. You might try Bartlett Tree or any other well known company. 


  • Last Updated Jan 08, 2019
  • Views 46
  • Answered By Aska Gardener

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