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?
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
That's my opinion & I'm sticking to it.
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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