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We planted two 2.5m Magnolia Grandiflora trees in our garden around a year ago. One of them has lost all of its leaves months ago but the branches still seem to have some green in them under the bark. We have very clay soil and noticed it not looking to well not long after being planted so dug out a lot of the clay and put in some compost and plenty of gypsum. This was months ago but it is still not producing any leaves. Any suggestions for rescuing this tree?

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What is the drainage like around the Magnolias? Clay is notoriously bad ie it does not drain well, so your trees may be suffering because of it. It would definitely not liked the clay and its sounds like you have made some amendments in this area. However, it may need more. Ideally when planting magnolias dig in as much compost as possible and work the soil in an area twice the diameter of the root ball of the plant. Place the plant in the hole then put in a strong stake before back filling so that the roots are not damaged by putting it in afterward. Magnolias like a cool root zone so a good mulch after planting will pay dividends. Watch the plant does not get too dry in the first season since magnolias spend the first year from planting getting settled in. If they get too dry they will tend to sulk. Seeing as yours is just a year old it is still adapting. If there is some concern about bad drainage, plant your magnolia in a slightly raised bed so it does not sit in a pool of wet soil. So you may need to look at transplanting it. When transplanting a magnolia it is best to move as big a block of undisturbed soil as possible . If the root ball gets disturbed or even shaken out completely, then the plant will benefit from a reduction of branches by at least a third. Evergreen species should be root-pruned in autumn before tranplanting, and deciduous species are best moved when dormant, though they can be treated as evergreens and root-pruned for shifting in the autumn, as long as their growth has matured when the root-pruning process starts.

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