DEAR NEIL: A few weeks ago my magnolia tree started developing brown spots around the edges of its leaves. Then they turn yellow and fall off. I’m not aware of anything I might have done. What is happening?
Dear Reader: Odd as it may seem, this is fairly normal for Southern magnolias. Like other broadleafed evergreen plants (ligustrums, hollies, etc.), Southern magnolias drop their leaves in the spring.
The only differences are that they do so much later into the spring, and their leaves are so much larger that the browning and yellowing are much more noticeable.
Apply an all-nitrogen fertilizer. Your lawn food will be fine as long as it has no weedkiller in it. Keep it moist at all times, and as the new growth pops out this spring,…