Question From: D. Shanley - Delmar, New York, United States
Q: I had a 6 foot(+/-) Jane Magnolia shrub planted in an almost exclusively sunny location last August. This spring it looked healthy and had many beautiful flowers. I live in upstate NY and we had a very wet spring and early summer, then a short hot dry spell, and then over the last month, a more normal summer weather pattern with generally a rain storm per week. The problem is since late spring, early summer my magnolia plant has slowly been fading. It's lost leaves. Many leaves are partially yellow; some are predominately yellow. Many yellow leaves also have grey patches. Many leaves are predominately grey. Even the leaves that are green don't look healthy. Two weeks ago I added Tree-Tone Organic Fruit and Shade Tree Food and watered in. The plant is in sandy soil and for the last month I have been watering with a lawn hose at its base (slow water flow) for approximately 15 minutes every third or fourth day. Not sure what else to do. Thanks for any help you can give.
Fertilizer will not help a tree in stress. The gray sounds like powdery mildew. Sounds like lack of water to me. A new tree planted in sand needs one and one half inch of water a week. In hot weather two would be better. A drip from a hose end will not water the area around the tree. In sand water does not spread out. I to find out how long it takes to accumulate that amount of water. I recommend you get a soaker hose. Go to how to water trees at Yardener.com for more information. Mulching around the tree with 3 to 4 inches of wood chips will also help. Check our how to mulch trees on Yardener.com. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy.