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No Blooming Magnolia Trees

Hi, I have a Magnolia that is not blooming this year (I have noticed that other Magnolias have bloomed).  I’ve had the tree for 7 years, and this is the first year it didn’t bloom.  Do you know what my problem might be?  Thank you, Cathryn J.

Answer: Cathryn,

I do not know any specifics about the tree’s location, so it’s hard to guess the cause, but generally lack of blooms is environmental or pruning related. Did you perhaps do any pruning last fall? Any blooming shrub or tree should be pruned immediately after it has finished blooming, as it will start setting buds very shortly after it has finished blooming. These buds lie dormant over the winter, then early in the spring as the sap starts to flow within the tree, they begin their development again. If you have an early warming spell causing a slight acceleration of development, and then have a cold spell, this could cause harm to the developing buds and they will fail to flourish. It will not harm the developing leaf buds which are later in development. If you were affected by the droughts last summer, then the tree could be slightly under-nourished and just failed to develop flower buds, reserving its strength for the development of leaves.

If there are others around you that are blooming or you haven’t pruned it, then you might consider having it fertilized by an arborist who can provide the right balance of nutrients to aid in its development of bloom buds this summer. An arborist can also check to make sure it doesn’t have any insect infestation or disease.

Best of luck with your Magnolia. They are beautiful when they bloom.

Karen

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