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Those early Magnolia blossoms

Does cold weather hurt the tree?


March - The eternal spring question goes something like this:

My fragrant pink-flowered Magnolia started blooming early this year and then it got real cold, will it be OK?

Answer: Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia soulangiana) trees always seem to bloom earlier than they should, but this year (2016) they bloomed super early, with these photos actually taken on St. Patrick’s Day. Go figure, we just had the warmest February in recorded weather history.

Saucer Magnolia blooming early Early blossoms on a Pennsylvania Magnolia tree
St. Patrick's Day surprise!

Freezing temperatures arrived a few days later to damage all the open blossoms, but there is still hope for the blossoms which hadn't unfurled and were still in the bud.

 

To answer the original question, this sort of frost or freeze damage to the blossoms does not hurt the tree, only its spring flower show. Some of the brown blossoms will often persist for a couple weeks.

Blossoms still in the bud still have a chance to bloom, and some Magnolias even put out random blossoms during the early summer months, so all is not lost.

Bob
  

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