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The Many Advantages of Planting Magnolia Trees
Perhaps the most apparent advantage of having a Magnolia tree growing near the home is the intoxicating scent wafting on the breeze when the tree blooms in spring. Magnolia tree blossoms are not only fragrant, but the tree in full bloom is a beautiful sight to behold.
Most people believe that Magnolia trees only thrive in warmer climates such as the Southern areas of the United States. The Magnolia Grandiflora, more commonly known as the Southern Magnolia, is a considerable evergreen that can grow up to 80 feet high with a possible spread of up to 40 feet. This tree grows naturally from Florida to North Carolina and West Texas.
Magnolia trees have been developed into varieties that grow successfully in the colder climates of the Northern states. While these varieties do not grow as large as the original strains, they also produce beautiful blooms that have a strong fragrance. The Star Magnolia is one variety that will thrive as far north as zone 4, and the Saucer Magnolia is a popular choice for homeowners living in area 5.
A late frost in colder climates can be a problem since Magnolia blossoms tend to appear early in spring. The best way to prevent this problem is to locate the tree on the south side of a building and also mulch heavily around the base of the tree. The location helps to protect the tree from frost, and the mulch cools the ground helping to delay blooming.
The Southern Magnolia trees are unusually long-lived with one known as the Jones Magnolia in Arkansas planted in 1839 still thriving today. The Magnolia tree requires acidic soil, plenty of sunlight, and adequate water when newly planted.
Although few people would think of cutting their Magnolia down to get the wood, it is a light wood that can be used to make boxes, crates and lightweight furniture. The wood is likely only accessed after the tree has succumbed to strong wind or a disease that would destroy the tree eventually.
Magnolia trees are desired as a prized ornamental in the landscape, but they are also valuable in that they attract a wide variety of wildlife. Purchasing and planting a young Magnolia tree can result in many years of enjoyment as the blossoms are amazing, and the fragrance is unforgettable. Anyone having space and ability should consider adding one to their landscape.
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