Magnolia Flower Sepals Are Falling Off Before Flowers Bloom

Question From: s. zemek - Avon Lake, Ohio, United States
Q: My magnolia is 2 years old. when planted was 5 feet tall...doing well, but sepals are falling off before flowers bloom. The free has been fertilized once so far.....Tree is in Northern Ohio and gets 4 hrs of sun per day. Can't remember what type of magnolia, something Scotch???

A: My guess is unseasonably early bouts of warm weather followed by freezes damaged the flower buds. Lack of water in late summer and fall when the buds begin to form is also problematic. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy