Southern Magnolia Tree
Since coming to the middle Tennessee area I have been infatuated with the Huge deep green Magnolia Trees which are grown prolifically here. These trees are more commonly known as the Southern Magnolia Tree. This gorgeous tree is native to the southeastern United States. Generally from the coast of Virginia south to central Florida, as well west to eastern Texas and Arkansas. This grand Dame of the south will grow to am amazing height of 90 ft. The Magnolia tree is an evergreen tree with large dark green leaves and white/creamy fragrant flowers that can be as large as a dinner plate.
The magnolia tree is very popular as an ornamental tree. The leaves will bronze, blotch, and burn in severe winters especially when grown in full winter sun but most leaves remain until they are replaced by new foliage in the spring.
Once established these magnificent trees are drought tolerant. The leaves are heavy and fall year round from the interior and form a dense cover on the ground. The leaves are also popular items used in decorative floral arrangements. The leaves have a waxy coating
The Southern magnolia along with Sweetbay magnolia and Cucumber magnolia are also commercially grown. Lumber from these trees are simply called magnolia, which is used in the construction of furniture, boxes, pallets, venetian blinds, sashes, doors and used as veneers.
The Southern magnolia has a yellowish-white sapwood with light to dark brown heartwood.The usually straight grained wood has uniform texture with closely spaced rings. The wood is ranked moderate in heaviness, hardness and stiffness within the industry. It is moderately low in shrinkage, bending and compression strength and ranked moderately high in shock resistance.
The Magnolia should be planted where the lowest branches can grow right to ground. Therefore attention should be given to the space required for such a huge tree. Planting close to the house would become a problem in just a few years resulting in either removal of the tree or costly transplanting. Care must also be taken as to what is grown in close proximity to the tree as it is difficult to grow anything underneath. The falling leaves are difficult to manage dropping in fall and spring. The seeds are an attraction for birds so consequently there are a number of birds which ultimately make their home in the safe large branches of the magnolia.
Facts regarding the Magnolia Tree
Hardiness Zones: 7-9
Growth Rate: Slow to moderate
Site Requirements: Sun to partial shade; well drained soil; tolerates high moisture
Form: Dense, conical shape; symmetrical
Height: 40 to 90'
Width:30 to 40'
Leaf: 5 to 10" alternate, simple, dark green leathery leaves
Flower:8 to 12" fragrant, creamy white
Fruit: bright red seeds