Magnolia sprouting

A friend's cherished magnolia had to be taken down earlier this year. Now, there are about six stems sprouting from the trunk -- about 2 feet high. Is there any chance one of these could be coaxed back into a tree? The original was planted to mark a child's birth, so it would be pleasing if the tree could be "reborn" in this way.
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I've done it with Japanese Maples.
Bill who thinks of copicing. (sp?)
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vio wrote:

I don't have experience with Magnolia but I can offer some advice if your friend wants to try to grow the tree back. I would leave ALL of the sprouted stems for now. The important thing the first year or so is to keep the roots alive. If there isn't enough top growth to supply food to the roots, they may die and the project is over. At some point, maybe 1 1/2 years from now, if all has gone well so far, start cutting out the extra stems one or 2 a year. If some sprouts are up high on the trunk and others are sprouting from ground level, the one to keep is the lowest one. The original trunk will rot eventually and it would be best if the new trunk was starting fresh at ground level. Again, I haven't done this with Magnolias (I'm too far north for any Magnolia). This would be VERY easy to do with a willow or a Silver Maple and it would never work for some other trees. The fact that there are about 6 sprouts tells me that the tree has a good chance.
Steve
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Thanks, both -- that's encouraging --- now all we have to do is make sure the new shoots survive a Toronto winter!
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I would also consider "spading off" one of the shoots, complete with root tissue, and propagating it in some good rooting medium. You might want to speak to your local nursery about how to do this. See also Michael Dirr, "Reference manual of Woody Plant Propagation."
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Jones wrote:

I would "air layer" one of the shoots. I've air layered magnolia before when I was a kid. My parents still have the magnolia tree that I started from it.
Bob
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Thanks again -- with anny luck, at least one of these methods should meet with success!
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vio Thanks again -- with anny luck, at least one of these method
should meet with success!
i sure would consider air layering at least one or two of the shoots have never done it myself but from what i understand they are fairl easy to do then at least u stand a chance of one of the methods workin for your friend. also maybe bob might be willing to share some of his insight on ai layering the magnolia since he has done it before :). good luck. cyaaaa, sockiescat
-- sockiescat
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Steve wrote:

Steve's whole post is excellent. I agree, first save them all then see how well each of the new sprouts grow. As another poster remarked, it may not be possible to get this specific plant to grow in tree form again, because what has happened by accident is what the English and the Italians do deliberately, which is to cut out the center of a tree and let all the sprouts grow to make a big shrubby-looking plant that is supported by mature roots. The English call it "coppicing". They often do this several times over a period of decades before the roots are finally exhausted. I brought back several heirloom apple and crabapple trees, in upstateNY. It worked, altho the harsh winters meant the plant had to be protected during the worst of the winter, and lovingly (sparingly) fertilized with compost. We moved away after about 5 years, but the final form of the plants at that time was more like a shrub than a tree.
p.s. from the American Heritage Dictionary: coppice n. A thicket or grove of small trees or shrubs, especially one maintained by periodic cutting or pruning to encourage suckering, as in the cultivation of cinnamon trees for their bark.

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vio wrote:

This is a bonsai technique called "trunk chopping." IT should grow back just fine. How big is the stump?
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How big is the stump?
The tree was nineteen years old and the trunk was about 10" across
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vio wrote:

It's going to take a while before a shoot can gain that diameter again, but it should happen.
I disagree with the other posters about coppicing making your tree into a shrub. I agree that you COULD do that if you wanted to, by leaving a lot of shoots and cutting off anything that got large. See the Wikipedia article about coppicing:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coppicing
Note that this technique was used to make lumber for ship building, and there are several pictures of coppiced trees as full grown large scale trees.
If you want to hedge your bets, air layer a few of the shoots, then cut off all but the strongest one and let that one become a main trunk.
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Thank you --- the tree marked the birth of my friend's first child and he is thrilled that he may be able to save it.
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