At Native Forest Nursery we grow bare root seedlings and #3 container trees. Our container trees are grown in a #3 air pruned pot. This root making container eliminates nearly all potential for root wrapping. This allows for an excellent root structure and delivers an extremely healthy tree. The bare root seedlings at our nursery are grown in a sandy loam soil with high organic matter content, which provides an extremely healthy environment for our seedlings. Our bare root liners and seedlings are hand lifted, packaged, and kept in cold storage until you are ready to plant. Conservation uses for our products include reclamation, mitigation, reforestation, restoration, wildlife habitat improvement and wetland uses. Horticultural uses for our products include field liners, container liners, landscape plantings, budding stock, grafting stock and ornamental uses.

Family: Magnoliaceae
Latin Name: Magnolia virginiana
Foliage: Shiny green
Fall Foliage: Green
Bloom: White
Bloom Time: May to June
Shape: Rounded to spreading
Bark: Smooth and gray
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Zone: Zone 10 to Zone 5
Size: 10 to 35 feet
Spread: 10 to 35 feet
Care: Medium, well drained soil

Commonly known as the Sweetbay Magnolia, the impeccable Magnolia Virginiana is a beautiful member of the Magnoliaceae family, typically cultivated as an ornamental garden tree and used in a variety of landscape designs and parks. Like other variations of the magnolia tree, the Sweetbay Magnolia is characterized by its enormous snow-white blossoms. These emit a delightful vanilla-scented aroma that can be detected even from hundreds of yards away. Even the tree’s smooth gray bark has a faint distinctive fragrance—reminiscent of citrus fruits and bay laurel spice—as do its leaves and twigs. Though it does not produce as many blossoms as the classic Southern Magnolia, the Sweetbay Magnolia (like the D. D. Blanchard Magnolia) has the advantage of blooming a bit later in the spring, typically in May and June, effectively avoiding any potential late-spring frosts that might damage its blossoms.

Elegantly shaped with a rounded to spreading crown, the Sweetbay Magnolia’s deciduous green canopy scrapes up to a decent height of 10-35 ft. with a respective spread, though it grows taller and faster in warmer climates. Native to the lowlands and swamps of the east-central and southeastern United States, this tree thrives in uplands and wetlands alike, developing best in medium, well-drained soils. Best exposed to full sun to partial shade, the Sweetbay Magnolia has a 5-10 hardiness zone rating and can sometimes be considered deciduous or evergreen according to the climate. Though it does not have a significant fall color, the Sweetbay Magnolia’s glossy leaves are multi-hued even in the summer, usually dark green with stunning silvery undersides revealed by a tousling from the wind.

Apart from being valued for its ornamental beauty, this compact tree provides excellent shelter, nesting sites, and nourishment to a variety of wildlife, including the sweetbay silkmoth. Early American settlers had nicknamed the Sweetbay Magnolia the “Beaver Tree” due to its fleshy roots, which served as good bait for beaver traps. This specimen is further prized because it is resistant to magnolia scale (which unfortunately infests most magnolia varieties), tolerates periodic flooding, and can survive even in acidic poorly-drained soils.

Native Forest Nursery Photos:

Mature Tree Photos: