Magnolia tree to replace a huge Sycamore.

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  #1  
Old 04-09-02, 11:05 AM
Wildo
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Angry Magnolia tree to replace a huge Sycamore.

I had a VERY large Sycamore tree taken down last Winter, (god I hated that tree! ) Any way, they ground the stump but left all the wood chips/ saw dust, it is quite a substantial mound. My question is two fold. First off, I want to replant a tree, preferably a magnolia tree where the old tree was, and would like to know how much of the wood chips, saw dust do I have to remove? Would it hurt to mix some of the wood chips with the soil? My first thought was to dig a fairly large hole, approximately 3 times the size of the tree ball, replace that with top soil, and keep the rest of the chips to decompose over the next few years. Would this method be good for the new tree?
Second question is: How fast/slow does a magnolia tree grow and What are the upsides or down sides to a Magnolia tree.

I live in Northern Virginia

Thanks!

Will
 
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  #2  
Old 04-09-02, 05:21 PM
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Hello Will

Guess everyone has their likes and dislikes - I like the sycamore just because it has such interesting bark (and it was the very first tree I learned the Botanical name for when I was going to school... but then, I don't have to clean up the fallen chunks of bark or fuzz from the seed balls...)

Anyways, I'd try to keep the chips out of the ground if you can - any buried wood can become food for mushrooms down the road. (goes for roots, too, but there's not much you can do about that...) Also, wood chips are not the best growing medium for most plants, if no oxygen is available to them, they will be very slow to break down and as they decompose, they could change the pH of the soil. You could use the chips if they are clean as mulch over your tree saucers or in your beds. A 2" layer will help keep weeds down and conserve moisture.

Here are a couple of links on the two most common Magnolias:

http://www.msue.msu.edu/msue/imp/mod03/01700598.html

http://www.msue.msu.edu/msue/imp/mod03/01700595.html

Main downfall of both in my opinion is that the falling petals have to be cleaned up almost daily if you don't want a slippery footing walking around them. And they have an uncanny ability to predict when a good wind is coming (seems like they are always at their peak when we get a good blow...)

Hope this helps a bit

Howie
 
  #3  
Old 04-10-02, 04:03 AM
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3 types of magnolias...

There are three types of magnolias. All three are beautiful trees. I have a sweet bay which blooms in June in my area. The other two types bloom earlier and the blooms are subject to freezing/frost.

The sweet bay is a slow grower and will get about 15-20 feet tall. I don't know about the others. The bloosoms of the sweet bay are very fragrant!! But each blossom only lasts a couple of days.
 
  #4  
Old 04-10-02, 06:38 AM
Wildo
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Thanks guys for the input. The main reason for felling the Sycamore was to stop the ďtreeĒ trash left by the bark, sticks and seed pods, so I guess if the magnolia essentially does the same thing, I think that I will reevaluate the replacement tree. I have planted two Bradford pears and a weeping Japanese cheery, and I wanted a little variety. What are some other options for ornamental trees that are quick growing and that donít shed their leaves/bark but once a year?
 
  #5  
Old 04-10-02, 10:10 AM
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why not a shade tree?

I'm just curious - why not a deciduous shade tree for fall color?

There are many varieties of crabapples, all with different shapes and sizes.

If you have the right spot, how about a serviceberry?
 
  #6  
Old 04-10-02, 10:55 AM
Wildo
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Bob

Thanks for the ideas. I looked up the allegheny serviceberry and it said that it was short-lived, and drops black berries. Donít like that idea too much. The Apple Serviceberry may not be tall enough for what I am looking for. I never thought about crabapple? Are there varieties that do not grow fruit? I really only want to pick up leaves from this thing. Also, really looking for an ornamental tree for this spot. We have 4 really old large Oaks and wanted a little spring color in this spot.

Thanks again!
 
  #7  
Old 04-11-02, 04:06 AM
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I think so....

I do remember one variety of crabapple that has little or no fruit, but can't remember the name right now. Do you have a large nursery nearby?

As for the serviceberry - I'd always heard the birds got to the fruit before it would drop to the ground. But I can understand not wanting to take a chance. Where I wanted it it would not have been a problem. I didn't buy one because of the cost. They are double what other trees cost in my area.

I envy you having those oak trees!
 
  #8  
Old 04-11-02, 05:42 AM
Wildo
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Thanks Bob! You can have them. By the time the yard is the way we want it , we will have three less Oaks. Just too big and boy it is something in the fall. Plenty of Oaks to look at in the Neighbors yard. SO if you have a GIANT root ball digger, come on over. Well, thatís what Iíll do is go out to the garden center and take a look. Thanks for all your advise!

Will
 
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