Trees provide a wide variety of benefits, from lowering your energy bill
to beautifying the landscape. Tree benefits are endless, and everyone
looks for different characteristics when choosing a tree. One species
that offers a variety of features is the sweetbay magnolia.
A small to medium size tree, sweetbay magnolia (Magnolia virginiana) packs a big punch. An
understory species, this tree usually grows with a multi-trunked form
to a height of 10 to 35 feet and can have a spread that is just as wide.
Sweetbay magnolia is semi-evergreen, meaning it will lose its leaves
for only a short time during winter (as it's beginning to do in the
photo to the right). The long, oval leaf is shiny green on the top side
with a silvery underside. Like other magnolias, the sweetbay magnolia
has a large flower that turns into a cone like fruit with attractive,
bright red seeds that birds love. The white, cup shaped flower of the
sweetbay magnolia has 9-12 waxy pedals that put off a sweet smell.
Sweetbay magnolia has a moderate growth rate, prefers clay soils, and in
this region tends to grow best when planted in a partially shaded area.
If you are interested in adding some variety to your landscape and think a sweetbay magnolia is that tree, then we encourage you to consider signing up for the Foster-A-Tree program. Along with a number of other interesting species, sweetbay magnolia is available for yards in need of a smaller tree. Visit the Foster-A-Tree page to learn more about this Urban Forestry program and register for one of the remaining trees.