Magnolia liliiflora

R0b

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Also purchased this year when the buds were amazingly purple. The flowers are great but the tree was more beautiful just before they opened due to the contrast between the purple and the bark. It was a fresh important from Japan And the best of tree at the nursery. The other had larger unhealed cuts with some rot. Mine to although this was not obvious at first. They might have treated cuts wit lime sulfur to make them less obvious before export. The woodis mostly dark brown and I removed the soft material I could reach and filled with epoxy. Some of the wounds are healing. But the latest cut at the top does not show any callus formation yet. Some of the bark around looked unhealthy or dead and I cut back on this a bit, but maybe not enough. I pruned the long branches and I am happy with the general health of the tree and the vigour. Even the increase in ramification is not disappointing for a species that has poorer ramification. Currently it has started to suffer from powdery mildew and I will buy something against that this weekend.

Next steps, repotting late winter early spring and pruning after flowering. Or should I remove buds when repotting?
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vp999

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Amazing tree! Now I want a magnolia bonsai, any contact info you can share would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Tommy
 

R0b

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Was imported by Bonsai Plaza in the Netherlands. There is production of this type of material in Japan. They come at a price though but nothing crazy for a 25 year old tree (estimated).
 

R0b

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Did some wiring mainly to remove some straight lines and shorten some branches. Some observations, the bark damages easily so double up thinner wire and those precious little branches break easily so don’t wire the smallest or use very thin wire.
 

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coh

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I have one magnolia in a container (Leonard messel which is a kobus x stellata hybrid) and one in a growing bed. The growing bed is one of the "Little girl" series, not sure which one but the flowers look like the ones in this thread. The Little Girls are hybrids of liliflora x stellata.

What have I noticed...yes, those branches will SNAP without much if any warning! So bend carefully. I did snap one almost off at the base in the spring, figured it would die back. But I wired it (to keep it from moving) and applied cut paste and it made it through the summer.

Branches can swell very quickly and will scar easily. So far I haven't been able to determine how quickly those scars will fade (if at all).
 

shinmai

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The biggest problem with magnolia for bonsai is the fact that the leaves are so disproportionately large. One must simply accept that as a trade off for the stunning blossoms, short-lived as they are. I have had no success reducing the leaves. My M. Stellata has big, floppy leaves, but they don’t appear until the blooming is over. Stellata in particular have a very rich and powerful perfume.
In my experience, wiring should be done early and often. The branches begin to lignify at one eighth inch, and are very prone to snapping if one’s wiring skill, patience, or attention span are deficient. I have experienced some wire cutting in in as little as three or four months.
I admire magnolias in that they produce blossoms first, then leaves—in effect, prioritizing sex over food, a sentiment that I find easily agreeable.
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Mellow Mullet

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I have a stellata:


I have found that they heal well, but you have to seal it well. The leaves will reduce, about half. I remove about 1\2 - 2/3 the leaves right after they harden off. The new growth will have smaller leaves, then I cut the remaining older leaves off. You have to do this early or you won't have flowers.
 

shinmai

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Excellent! I’ll try that next spring. Thanks for the guidance.
 

coh

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I have a stellata:


I have found that they heal well, but you have to seal it well. The leaves will reduce, about half. I remove about 1\2 - 2/3 the leaves right after they harden off. The new growth will have smaller leaves, then I cut the remaining older leaves off. You have to do this early or you won't have flowers.
They do heal pruning wounds quickly and vigorously in my experience. Not sure how well they heal wire scars, though. I've managed to avoid really deep ones but have a few smaller scars I'm keeping an eye on.

Even if the leave reduce 50% they're still pretty large, unless you have a large tree. I like the way they look in winter, the bare branches have a rather stark/angular nature that is appealing. Think they look best as the buds swell and start to open. The flowers are pretty large once they open all the way. The Leonard Messel has a really nice fragrance.
 

R0b

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For me it is the look when flowering, pale bark and large contrasting flowers, so not to concerned about leaf size. I did some leaf reduction but mainly for providing light to the inner branches this year. I will probably remove the wire at the start of the next growing season and continuously monitor development.
 

just.wing.it

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Also purchased this year when the buds were amazingly purple. The flowers are great but the tree was more beautiful just before they opened due to the contrast between the purple and the bark. It was a fresh important from Japan And the best of tree at the nursery. The other had larger unhealed cuts with some rot. Mine to although this was not obvious at first. They might have treated cuts wit lime sulfur to make them less obvious before export. The woodis mostly dark brown and I removed the soft material I could reach and filled with epoxy. Some of the wounds are healing. But the latest cut at the top does not show any callus formation yet. Some of the bark around looked unhealthy or dead and I cut back on this a bit, but maybe not enough. I pruned the long branches and I am happy with the general health of the tree and the vigour. Even the increase in ramification is not disappointing for a species that has poorer ramification. Currently it has started to suffer from powdery mildew and I will buy something against that this weekend.

Next steps, repotting late winter early spring and pruning after flowering. Or should I remove buds when repotting?
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Very cool! Beauty.
 

shinmai

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My stellata produces blossoms that start as the very palest pink, opening as white, and are about an inch and a half across.
 

R0b

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Have a stellata in the garden it might be partly air layered in the future.
 

shinmai

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I put mine into our club silhouette show in February. Despite there being some really nice trees, including a spectacular shohin Chinese elm, my magnolia attracted the most ‘civilian’ attention. It was because people saw the fuzzy, nascent blossom buds and asked, is that really a pussy willow?
 

Driftwood

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Have a stellata in the garden it might be partly air layered in the future.

Hi, could you please tell the differences between liliiflora and stellata or how to identify the two varieties? What's the size of your liliiflora? How is the thickening/wire going? Is it slow grower as some have mentioned? Anything else you have learned so far to share?
Very nice tree.
 

shinmai

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I can’t tell you how to distinguish between them taxonomically. I believe that Lilliflora has more vertical, upright blossoms, and that those tend to be larger in proportion to the tree. As to thickening, I’ve had branches go from 1/8” to 1/4” year over year. As I mentioned earlier the branchlets tend to lignify early, and one needs to be diligent about wire cutting in. I’ve not had enough experience with that to be able to say how rapidly (or slowly) wire scarring will heal over and cure itself.
As to other things learned, I am always amazed at how each species of tree has its own specific pest—in this context, magnolia scale. Mine developed an infestation while sitting on my porch wall, courtesy of the neighbor’s full-size landscape tree, which is covered with them. The bugs are softer than some other scale insects, and were fairly easy to wipe off with paper toweling. Lacking rubbing alcohol at the time, I wiped all the branches with a paper towel dunked in vodka. No recurrence since, but I will be treating with Bonide systemic crystals before it comes out of the greenhouse in spring.
 

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