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Video:How to Identify Magnolia Tree Problems

with John Vogt

There are different problems and diseases that can affect a magnolia tree. This About.com landscaping video will help you to identify different problems that magnolia trees might exhibit.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Identify Magnolia Tree Problems

Hello, this is John Vogt with About.com, talking to you today from Storybrook Farm in Jonesborough, TN about how to identify different problems with magnolia trees. 

There are over 200 hundred kinds of magnolia trees, and different kinds of problems and diseases that can affect them. You should research common problems that pertain to your particular breed of Magnolia tree. Here are some common magnolia tree problems, and how to identify them.

Magnolia Tree Problems: Verticillium Wilt

Verticillium wilt is a soil based fungus. It resides in dark patches of dirt called microsclerotia. When a tree is planted in an area infected by verticillium, the fungus will infect the tree by going in through the roots. It can enter the tree by wounds, too. There are a number of signs your magnolia tree could exhibit to show you it has verticillium. Branches may suddenly wilt. Twig growth decreases, or dead twigs and branches manifest. Leaves may discolor prior to wilting. They may turn yellow before they wilt, or the margins may turn to a brown color. 

If you suspect your tree to have verticillium wilt, you can send a sample off to be diagnosed to your local plant center. You should send twigs that are 1/2 inch in diameter and about 8 inches long. Choose from branches that are actively wilting, but haven't died yet. Include your samples which should be wrapped in a suitable material that will ensure it won't dry out.

Magnolia Tree Problems: Magnolia Leaf Blight

Magnolia leaf blight is a disease that's caused by the pathogen pseudomonas syringae. Unhealthy or wounded trees are the ideal victim of the sickness. This can be identified by black-brown spots on the leaves or in the veins. The twigs turn black and cankers will be on shoots. You should apply copper hydroxide on the trees near the end of September to combat the pathogen. The application of copper hydroxide during the spring may burn the leaves, that is why we usually do it in the autumn.

Magnolia Tree Problems: Leaf Spots

Leaf spots are nothing more than a fungus. It can form from too much moisture. You will see black spots form on the leaves. They will likely fall off. The proper way to deal with this is to dispose of the affected leaves, to prevent the spreading of the fungus. Also, dispose of any foliage that may be making conditions right for fungus to grow.

You can apply a fungicide, ideally copper based, to your tree. Make sure the tree receives good air circulation by proper pruning. Diseases, infections and fungus can be spread by improper trimming of your trees. It's advised to wash your trimming tools in anti-bacterial liquid every time you prune. A good way to make one is 1/4 cup of bleach added to a gallon of water. Any symptoms you discover on your tree should be investigated.

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