I have a 12- to 15-year-old magnolia tree that looks perfectly healthy, yet it has never bloomed. What can I do?
—Betty Hatcher, Sevierville, Tennessee
Melinda: These trees develop large hairy buds at the tip of the stems that eventually become the flowers. If these buds are damaged by cold winter temperatures, late-spring frost, animals or overzealous pruning, the tree won't produce flowers. If the buds never form, check the growing conditions. Excess high-nitrogen fertilizer or too much shade can hinder flower development. You may need to replace your plant with a hardier magnolia that's better suited to your climate. Otherwise, correct any improper growing conditions and maintenance practices so you can enjoy beautiful flowers in spring.