What can I do to restore my magnolia to its former glory?
Magnolias (Magnolia) have a shallow root system, which may have been damaged when you built the patio. The roots of most trees extend well beyond the branching structure. If you dug within 4 feet of the trunk, you may have removed almost half of the tree's root system. Now that the damage is done, prune out all dead wood. Restrict foot traffic around the tree out to the drip line (the place where the branches end). Spread a layer of compost, and top with mulch to a depth of no more than 4 inches combined, keeping the mulch a few inches away from the trunk. Make sure to water the tree adequately and consistently-but not excessively-throughout the growing season, especially during the hotter months. Avoid shallow watering; a long, slow soak over the entire root zone is preferable. With time, it may recover. It all depends on how much damage was done and whether the patio interferes with the tree in any way, such as preventing water from reaching the roots. In the future, avoid digging within the drip line of trees.
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