Magnolia trees are often not appreciated as much as they deserve to be. Their beautiful leaves, sweet-smelling flowers, and majestic size all contribute to making them an impressive addition to any yard. These native trees are quite adaptable and grow throughout the South. They grow equally well in full sun or partial shade. They are hardy, care free, and ornamental native trees.
A common, favorite magnolia tree is the Southern magnolia, or Magnolia grandifloria. It can grow to over 100 feet tall and spread 30 to 40 feet wide. Its branches grow conveniently all the way to the ground so there is no grass to mow beneath the tree. Its size makes it a dominating factor in a landscape because it takes up so much space. Of all the types of magnolia trees, the Southern magnolia must be the most carefully located. It is best to not plant it near walks, porches, or decks because of the dropping of seed pods and leaves. Some owners enjoy this tree more when it is planted at the edge of a yard away from where people walk or gather.
The Southern magnolia is an evergreen plant that blooms late in the spring. Its large, white flowers give off a strong, sweet fragrance. It’s glossy, evergreen leaves can be 5 to 10 inches long and are perfect to use in flower arrangements, wreaths, and holiday decorations. It’s seed pods with bright-red seeds are also appropriate to use for decorating. Small mammals and birds may get to the seeds before you do, though, as they eat the seeds of the Southern magnolia.
Its wood is hard and suitable for use in making furniture, doors, and cabinets.
Sweet Bay Magnolia
Another common magnolia tree is the Sweet Bay magnolia. If grown in the wild, it can grow to be 60 feet tall. When grown as a lawn tree, it is more likely to be 10 to 15 feet high. It has white flowers that are 2 to 3 inches in width and bloom on the tree throughout the entire summer. The leathery leaves, although smaller than the Southern magnolia, are also good for decorating. Their flowers develop into ornamental seed pods that show off bright-red seeds that are a good choice for decorations. Various kinds of songbirds as well as wildlife such as gray squirrels, turkey, and quail eat the Sweet Bay fruit.
The Sweet Bay magnolia is more versatile than other magnolia trees because it can be grown as a small shade tree for a deck or porch area.
The colonists called the Sweet Bay the beaver tree because they used its roots to bait beaver traps. Cattle and deer eat the twigs and leaves.
The wood of the Southern magnolia is soft and releases a woodsy aroma. It is a good choice for use in making containers, veneer, and varieties of lumber and pulpwood.
When landscaping, consider including magnolia trees. Certainly all the people in Louisiana and Mississippi can’t be wrong about beauty. The magnolia is the state flower of both these states.
Sweet Bay Magnolia