Southern Magnolia in Lancaster, PA in album gardening

In Albums:gardening trees broadleaf evergreens

a garden showing a small southern magnolia tree, and many other plants, in front of a white garage, in a residential neighborhood, in winter

Dec 29th, 2004, by Alex Zorach

This tree shows a Southern Magnolia, Magnolia grandiflora, planted in the yard of my parent's house in Lancaster, PA. I love broadleaf evergreens; the yard already has several hollies and rhododendrons (some of which are visible in this photo), and I prodded my parents to plant this tree to replace a hemlock that came down. It is perhaps not the best ecological choice, but definitely not the worst.

The southern magnolia is an interesting tree. It is a large broadleaf evergreen tree with broad, thick, tough leaves. It is a major component of forests in the southeastern U.S., but its sensitivity to cold precludes it being grown farther north. However, in cities, with a warming climate, and with new horticultural varieties of this tree being selected for cold-hardiness, this tree is now able to be grown quite far north of its native range. Lancaster, PA is a bit outside of this zone though. There are a few thriving magnolias around Lancaster, but every couple of years, one of them will die. I have seen quite large trees die.

This tree is the Edith Bogue cultivar of Southern Magnolia, which, as of writing this, is the most cold-hardy cultivar that I know of. The tree has since grown huge since taking this picture...it now would completely obstruct the view of the garage, if I stood at the samp point. The top of the tree was broken off in the heavy snow in past years, but the tree has resprouted at the top and the rest of the tree is very healthy.