A Beautiful Tree,The Sweet Bay Magnolia

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The Sweet Bay Magnolia is sometimes known as the Sweet Bay, Swamp Magnolia or Swamp Bay. It was first found in European gardens as far back as 1688. Colonists referred to it as the beaver tree, because its fleshy roots helped them trap beavers.

This tree can be found occurring naturally in areas that are moist and wet such as along ponds, streams and swamps. It will crop up on its own following a fire and form thickets. It is most common in South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Alabama but can also be found in New York, Texas, Tennessee and Arkansas

Sweet Bay Magnolia trees can be either deciduous or evergreen depending on the climate. In areas with mild winders in the southern range, it tends to be evergreen, while it is more deciduous towards the north.


These trees are medium, generally evergreen trees that can grow to heights of thirty meters. They have an open crown with lightly spreading branches. The bark is thin but very tight, and is a gray-brown colour. The inner bark has a mild scent to it, similar to the bay laurel spice.

The leaves of these trees are simple and have a blunt, pointed tip. The leaves are thin but leathery and are shiny and smooth on the surface and have white, fine hairs on the lower surface. You can distinguish these trees by looking for leaf scars that can usually be seen at the joint between the leaves and the twigs.

Sweet bay magnolia flowers are creamy white blossoms that are very showy. They tend to show up in early summer and late spring and are similar to southern magnolia blossoms, but are smaller than them. The flowers have a very strong, distinctive vanilla scent that can be sensed from as far away as several hundred yards.

These flowers give way to fruits that are a collection of smooth, red follicles. These mature around early autumn and then release several red, flat, oval-shaped seeds for pollination.


This tree has many uses, but is mainly used as an ornamental tree. Its attractiveness makes it a popular plant for large gardens and parks. It is popular with many people due to its beautiful, clean foliage, its fast growth, and its large, extravagant, scented flowers and fruits. These handsome plants are quite resistant to damage by ice storms. Another area in which then are used are horticultural applications, because they give a very architectural feel to any landscape design.

The wood of these plants is also very useful. It is soft and even-grained which makes it very easy to work with. The wood also gives off a pleasant, slight aroma. As a result it is used widely in the manufacture of veneer, containers, furniture, boxes, pulpwood and some forms of lumber.

Out in the wild, these Sweet bay magnolia trees provide food for cattle and deer, and can make up at least twenty five percent of a cattle�s diet, particularly during cold, winter months. The fruits of the plant are a good source of food for many forms of wildlife, such as squirrels, rodents, turkey, quail and other songbirds.

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www.tennesseewholesalenursery.com is a state certified wholesael nursery in Tennessee.

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