Saturday, June 19, 2010

Bring Back Butterflies

I have, or is it had, the Magnolia Tree, 'Butterfies', a beautiful spring bloomer that is supposed to be hardy in zone 5-9.  I am in zone 6.  This spring only a few flowers appeared on half of the tree and now it only as a few limbs with leaves.  Most of the tree is just a bunch of twigs.  This past winter in the northeast was very cold with little to no snow cover for insulation.  Combine that with extreme temperature fluctuations in the spring, including some days in March in the high 90s and I would suggest that our crazy weather lead to the demise of this tree.

Here it is June and still no leaves.  However there appears to be some life in the stems.  I scraped a little bark away and there is some green.  Hope! 
I was talking about my loss with a fellow gardener and she spoke of having a similar experience.  She managed to bring the tree back to life with large doses of transplant fertilizer.  Transplant fertilizer is designed to stimulate root growth. I figure I had nothing to loose so why not try it.   I am starting treatment today and will pour a couple of gallons of liquid translant fertilizer over the root system.  I will keep you posted ont he results.   

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