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'Royal Star'

Magnolia stellata

Why I love this tree:

• The early spring flowers are white, frilly and showy.

• The flowers appear while the tree is still naked (before the leaves).

• The blooms smell good.

• It can be pruned into a small tree or left as a large shrub (10 to 15 feet tall and wide).

• It likes full sun and tolerates hot temperatures.

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Tips for planting:

• Dig a hole as deep as the root ball, but make it twice as wide.

• Settle the root ball into the hole, making sure the top of the root ball is at ground level.

• Mix the remaining soil with peat moss: two-thirds original soil, one-third peat moss.

• Refill hole with amended soil, and tamp down to remove air pockets.

• Water well.