Wednesday, May 30, 2007

SWEET BAY MAGNOLIA

OK, my first pick for plant of the week is Sweet Bay Magnolia (Magnolia Virginiana). I have chosen this plant because it is one of my favorites.
Sadly, my tree was greatly damaged by the freeze this spring. The tree had four forks, all of which had started to leaf out when we had the freeze. Three of the forks never came out of it, the other one leafed out, and is now in bloom. I don't know how long it will survive.
So my solution....cut down the three dead trunks, and leave the fourth until it dies. Meanwhile, I planted a new tree as close to the stump as I could get it. I cut the other stumps off, and set a bird bath top that I had, on to them. My idea was to try to make what was left of the first tree, fit in with the new tree, and tie it all together. Sweet Bay's generally will grow in sun or part shade, and love a wet area. They start blooming in May, and continue off and on throughout the summer. The flower is a creamy white, and dries to a tan color. The fragrance of the bloom is very strong, and you will probably smell the blooms before you even notice the flowers. The leaves are glossy, and usually hang on through the winter.
The tree grows in a kind of vase shape, and can reach 15-25 foot tall.
I would recommend planting this tree near a patio, or a window.

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