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Star of the Show

This early Spring bloomer earns Bob's highest rating!

Flowering trees that are the 'Sentinels of Spring' earn the highest marks in my book, since they help snap me out of my winter blues. When could a bright flower ever be more appreciated than following a long gray winter scene?
So let's pay homage to my favorite early-spring bloomer, the Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata).

When I first started my landscape contracting business in 1979, there were scores of lawns on my weekly schedule that needed mowing. This served as a great way to regularly visit some high-end landscapes containing a wide variety of ornamental plants.


This Star Magnolia shines
like a spotlight in the dark

One client had an early-blooming tree, covered with showy white flowers with attractive petals, white blossoms that formed well ahead of its leaves. Beyond the sheer beauty of flowers appearing on otherwise bare branches was the massive quantity of blooms. It didn't take many spring seasons for the Star Magnolia to become my favorite spring flowering tree. Therefore, we'll call it the Star of the Show, since it really is the star of my spring flower show.


Those delicate white petals

The Star Magnolia is a very reliable tree in the northeastern U.S. and the only demerit would be the flowers occasionally get nipped by a very cold spring night. The same risk applies to my second favorite spring flowering tree, the Saucer Magnolia. As far as insect problems go, they are relatively healthy, but both trees should be carefully monitored for destructive scale insects.


Bumper to bumper flowers!

The risk of blossom loss to cold temperatures is still worth it, even if it only has one great bloom season out of every three. And beyond the delightful blossoms, the tree has attractive leaves and branches. An added bonus is that deer don't like to chew on it, something we're always watching out for in 'deer-burbia!'


The Star Magnolia grows as wide as it does tall, so leave it some room when you plant one in your yard. As you watch it bloom every spring, you'll soon find why I call it the Star of the Show!


Spring lawn seeding mistakes

Crabgrass and Forsythia