Along with tulips, daffodils, and other early flowering spring bulbs, one of the first signs of spring in your garden will be the beautiful star magnolia (magnolia stellata). Grown as an ornamental tree or a large shrub, the star magnolia is hardy in zones 4 to 9, and produces beautiful and fragrant pink or white (depending on the cultivar) flowers each spring. The trees require very little care and virtually no pruning unless you’re trying to achieve a specific shape, and will generally reach 20-25 feet in height. My magnolia flourishes every year and the only ‘watch out’ is the possibility of scale (magnolia scale is an insect that feeds on the sap of the tree), which is easily managed with horticultural oil BUT MUST BE CAUGHT EARLY! One early summer or late spring application of oil (in a bottle that attaches to your garden hose) is generally all that is necessary.
For more information about the beautiful magnolia, a tree that has graced my lawn for many years, go to this article published by the Wisconsin Master Gardener Program. For additional information about scale and the treatment, go to this article published by Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences.
Posted by Vicki