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What Causes A Magnolia To Look Dead
Ask the Expert:mature magnolia tree in northeast looks dead mature tree has been blooming beautifully. last year I got only leaves, this year it looks dead. the only thing I did different was to put yard leaves around base of tree last fall. Tracy
I don't recommend piling leaves up around the base of any tree. If you want to use leaves as a way to mulch your tree, create a saucer of leaves that are not stacked against the truck of the tree. Think of a cup and saucer. The saucer is higher at the edges than it is when the cup sets.
However, I don't think the leaves necessarily are the contributing factor for the decline in the magnolia. How long has the magnolia been planted and do you know what kind of magnolia it is? Have you noticed any funny growth on the tree? There are a few diseases that could be causing this problem. If you can send me photos of the tree, I might be able to tell if a disease is the problem. Get photos from different angles and different parts of the tree.
In the mean-time, take your fingernail and scrape a few branches and the trunk. If you see any signs of green the magnolia may still be alive.