One Of Several Magnolias Has Dead Branches And Curling Leaves

Question From: Homosassa, Florida, United States
Q: We just purchased a home that has six beautiful 25 year old magnolia trees, over 20 feet fall. We live in zone 9A in west central Florida but are several miles from the Gulf. All the magnolias look good to us with glossy leaves except one, which has some dead branches and has leaves curling in on themselves. We don't see any leaf spots or insects. Online research indicates the curling leaves could be form too little water, too much water, insecticides, and various other things. Unfortunately, since we just moved here, we don't know what the former owners may have done for watering or insecticides so we don't know how to correct this. The former owners only lived in house for part of the year and, from the foundation plantings which are mostly easy care or no care, they didn't spend much time gardening. My guess is that no regular watering may be the problem but why only this one tree? We would hate to lose one of these beautiful old trees. What to do?

A: Christine, if these were my trees I would have them inspected by a certified arborist. Only a professional doing an onsite inspection of these trees can give you accurate advice. To find an arborist in your area go to and enter your zip code. Happy Yardening, Nancy