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Saucer Magnolias – A Magnificent Landscape Tree

Thinking of adding a tree to your front yard landscape. Consider a saucer magnolia.

Magnolia trees are a landscape show stopper. The stunning early spring blossoms have been said to open β€œlike a thousand porcelain goblets,” and lush summertime leaves are dark green and leatheryβ€”adding nice contrast to silvery-gray bark. One of the most popular flowering trees in the United States, the saucer magnolia is also widely planted in Europe.

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Tree Type

This tree is considered both a flowering tree and an ornamental tree. It is typically planted for both its visual interest and profusion of spring flowers.

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Mature Size

The saucer magnolia grows to a height of 20–30′ and a spread of around 25′ at maturity.

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Growth Rate

This tree grows at a medium rate, with height increases of 13–24″ per year.

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Soil Types

The saucer magnolia grows in acidic, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, well-drained and clay soils. It has some drought tolerance.

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Sun Preference

Full sun is the ideal condition for this tree, meaning it should get at least six hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

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Wildelife Value

Wildlife use larger branches of the Saucer Magnolia as nesting sites. Seeds are eaten by a variety of birds, and the sprouts of young trees are browsed.

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Attributes

  • Produces attractive pink and white flowers, appearing as saucers that are 5–10″ in diameter.
  • Blooms late February to April, with some blossoms reappearing throughout the summer months and possibly into winter. Color tends to fade with re-emerging flowers.
  • Can be trained to grow as either a shrub, small tree with multiple stems or single-trunk tree.
  • Features thick and soft leaves 3–6″ in length with a smooth margin and pointed tip, dark green on top with a fuzzy underside.
  • Yields elongated fruit that is up to 4″ long, seldom produced in significant numbers.
  • Has some pollution tolerance.
  • Grows in a rounded shape.
  • Needs seasonal protection in areas with cold winters for the first couple of years.
  • Has thin bark that is easily damaged by

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Article credit: Arbor Day Foundation

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