Growing a Magnolia in the road verge? #393367 - Ask Extension


Growing a Magnolia in the road verge? #393367

Asked April 12, 2017, 5:35 PM EDT

Hi there! I just bought a home in Minneapolis, and I'm wondering if a Leonard Messel Magnolia (or similar MN hardy magnolia) could survive in the road verge (the 4/5 foot strip of lawn between the sidewalk and the road). The road verge at my home is SW facing and gets nice late morning and afternoon sun. I'm not sure what is needed concerning city permission and such, but before I go ask them, I figured I ought to know if the tree could feasibly grow in this space! You're thoughts are much appreciated, Stacy

Hennepin County Minnesota

Expert Response

The information I found on Lesser Messel Magnolia is that it is hardy only to zone 5. So it may not survive the rigors of the boulevard. You might have better luck with the hardier star Magnolia or cucumber Magnolia.

You are correct that you have to contact the Minneapolis Park Board about planting this tree. The boulevard belongs to them, not you. They will have many criteria such as location of utility wires, etc. They will no doubt have limitations on what species you get. Go to this website where you will find the relevant contact information:

I could not find the "approved list" of species from the Minneapolis Park Board, but, for example, the city of Rochester lists both Magnolia species I mentioned as boulevard tree choices:

Finally, look at this site for some other possibilities:

Dennis White Replied April 12, 2017, 6:00 PM EDT

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