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Anna, Teacher, writer, biologist
Category: General
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Experience:  Great research skills, variety of work experiences, teaching experience.
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I wish you guys would get a few expert horticulturits and or

Resolved Question:

I wish you guys would get a few expert horticulturits and or nurserymen or women, anybody that knows plants in general.

I have been searching for a variety of Magnolia tree that grows stall and slender with much smaller leaves that the Southern Magnolia we see in the movies. They grow to at least 20 feet but the diameter at the bottom may be only 8'.

"lLittle Gem" seems to be the standard but the pictures I've seen do not resemble what I'm searching for. Feel free to put this out to all experts, there must be a gardener amongst you all.


Dallas, TX
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: General
Expert:  Anna replied 5 years ago.

I am a biologist and a gardener, and would like to help you. However, your request may be difficult to fulfill because there are over 240 species of magnolia, and so many hybrids among those species that it would take forever to sort through them. Some additional information will be helpful.

Where did you see a tree like this growing?

Do you know what color the flowers are?

Is it an evergreen magnolia or is it one that loses its leaves in the fall?

Thank you.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Good Morning Anna,


I have seen a number of these here in Dallas, they seem to be popular with owners of large properties and are planted so that the ends of the branches almost touch in order to provide a screen for privacy or as a wind break.


They are evergreen but I dont recall the color of the bloom. I dont think they are what we call Tulip Tree or a 'saucer magnolia' which has blooms of a magenta shade. Hope this helps

Expert:  Anna replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for getting back to me. I'll try to help, but I'll need to look at a lot of photos and go through my books, and that will take awhile. When I have something for you, I'll post it and you'll be notified. I appreciate your patience.

Expert:  Anna replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for waiting. I have a few for you to consider. if none of them seem right, let me know and I'll go from there. But first a few comments about Little Gem. It is one of the more common ones that would seem to fit the description. you need to keep in mind that its shape will depend on pruning. If the lower branches are removed, it will look quite different than if it is allowed to grow how it wants. that is true of any magnolia variety. Some people prefer to grow them as shrubs, and prune to maintain the small stature. Others like twisted gnarled branches, while still others prefer an upright, more narrow tree. Little Gem can be pruned to produce the tree shape you have described. Here is what a young tree typically looks like:

Magnolia M. sinensis ‘Ursula Grau’ is another narrow-leaved, slender tree. Here is a photo of its leaves:

Magnolia salicafolia is another:

If you would like to look through countless photos of magnolias to find one you like, this is a link to a comprehensive website, where you click on the tree's name and get a photo:

However, if you want the exact tree you've seen growing elsewhere, I suggest that you take a few photos of them - from a distance and a close-up of the leaves. Then take your photos to a local nursery and they'll probably be able to help you.

If you have more questions or would like more suggestions, let me know by clicking on REPLY.

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