“Love/Hate”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana
When we moved into this house, there already was a large magnolia tree growing on the property. The unfortunate part is it was planted about twelve feet from the front of the house and near the front entrance. The magnolia is the quintessential tree of the South, and in the right spot is a lovely tree. It has so many things going for it.
It is a tall stately tree which gives much needed shade during our hot summers.
In spring time it has huge white flowers that are just so beautiful.
It is just a wonderful, lovely tree. Many people admire it and want one. So, why do the people who own this big tree have a love/hate relationship with it? Well, it really depends where it is planted. Planted out in an open, sunny area where you do not care that there is no grass or flowers underneath, it is perfect. But so often it is planted near a house, walkway or driveway and that is when the trouble starts.
First this tree is dropping something nine months out of the year. It starts in early spring with the old, big, leathery leaves falling. They fall for weeks. They can be raked up and three hours later, it looks like your yard hasn’t been raked in weeks. Case in point, the photo below is only four hours after I had raked up every leaf.
About half way into leaf drop season, the flowers begin to open. This means the large papery bloom coverings fall off, then, as the flowers finish blooming, the big flower petals start falling. This is followed by a short break of not having to pick up anything. Then the seed pods begin to fall out the tree. While these are not large, they are hard as rocks so you have to be sure not to run over them with a lawn mower. Finally, the last thing to fall are the ripe seed pods with their glossy, bright red seeds showing. These aren’t too bad, but you have to watch for stray magnolia seedlings.
All of these problems are made worse for us because of the tree’s placement. It is next to the house (leaves in the gutters), near the front entrance (have to keep raking up so house looks neat), and also, at the top of a circular driveway (large expanse of concrete makes leaves more visible).
And, don’t even talk to me about surface roots.
So since this is the height of leaf raking season for me, I have not been having too many good thoughts about our Magnolia tree. However, that did change last evening. A thunderstorm came through, and as hubby and I were looking out the front door at the rain, we both noticed a small white object bounce on the driveway. We both said at once, “Is that hail?” Yes, it was. Just as it started, I ran to the car that was parked in the open and moved it under the Magnolia tree. The big, leathery leaves protected the car enough so that there was no damage.
Now, this morning, I have a slightly different opinion of that tree than I had when I took the picture of all the fallen leaves.