Would like to plant a magnolia, but...

Hi, I would like to plant a magnolia tree in my front yard, but I know they can get quite large after a while and my yard is up above street level with a stone retaining wall that is about 3 feet high.
Should I worry about the roots eventually destroying the wall if I plant it too close? Or are the roots non-destructive to walls/sidewalks, etc?
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One of the worse choices for a tree you can make. Very messy, the leaves take years to rot, they blow around the neighborhood for blocks making the neighbors mad, nothing will grow under them, etc. etc. My advise has always been that if it's less than 100 years old, cut it down! That's my opinion & I'm sticking to it.
KC
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agree with another poster that thinks they are messy. I've had magnolias at several houses and they were always a highlight of the landscaping.
There is a variety, "Little Gem" that is smaller than the traditional Southern Magnolia, but has the same large flowers and fragrance. I've planted it about 10 ' from my garage and it has done very well, without becoming an obstacle or growing up to the house. In a restricted location, Little Gem can be an excellent choice.
There is also a much larger variety that is very attractive, "Bracken Brown Beauty" which has leaves that are green on top, brown on the underside, and lovely large magnolia blossoms, but it becomes a big tree that might overpower the location you've described.
I've also tried Japanese magnolias, which are more like a medium-sized shrub, and have pinkish or muilti-colored flowers. They can be attractive and their flowers look almost like an orchid, but I'm too far south (Central Florida) for them to do well. They've been in the ground and growing for about 8 years, but have never flourished.
I'd say, go for it, and probably Little Gem is your best choice, if your climate is acceptable.
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There is more information about Little Gem at http://www.uafortsmith.edu/Arboretum/SouthernMagnolia-LittleGem
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