I planted my babe last May. I took proper care over all this time. Now it is time to cross fingers. I live around High Park In Toronto. I also read that mulch and a Bilbao May help to take care of it over the cold season, but I would like to make sure about it asking a master gardener. Can you please tell me what should I do to take care of it over winter?
Magnolias that are hardy in our climate are prone to winter damage from wind and cold. I hope that you planted your tree in a spot that is shielded from heavy/gusty winds. If not, try and protect your tree from these winds. It should also be protected from being exposed to salt that’s used so much during the winter on our roads/driveways.
Late spring frosts can damage the early-flowering buds – you may see broken branches, wilting, blackened leaves and stems, and/or flower buds that have browned. One way of preventing winter damage actually starts in late summer – avoid using too much nitrogen fertilizer and don’t over-water – as these practices could encourage new growth that would be particularly susceptible to frost damage.
- Ask a Master Gardener. New magnolia tree – basically, to protect the tree over winter, mulch around it (mulch should not touch the trunk).
- Also consider wrapping the tree in burlap – place stakes around the tree, and wrap burlap around the outside of the stakes, leaving at least 30 cm (12 inches) between the branches and the burlap. See Ask a Master Gardener. How to apply burlap on a young Japanese maple for winter protection (the technique is the same).
You may want to check which variety of magnolia you have, as some are more vulnerable than others to winter frost.
By the way, I’m not sure what you mean by “Bilbao” in your description.
Good luck with your young tree!