The Last of the Magnolias

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The sight of a magnolia tree in full bloom has always caught my attention from blocks away. On the topic of childhood memories and where our passions stem from, I have always had a strong liking—obsession maybe—for trees. This species however is an oddity to me. I can’t place my first memory of it. I have no memory of any such tree growing up, nor can I place a particular corner or front yard in all my travels to the Bronx as a child. Park Avenue across from the Metropolitan Museum of Art is lined with them, but I feel as though my fascination had already taken root. Something about the city vs nature aspect of how they danced together just makes them a perfect combination. This struggling magnolia in my front yard has fought bravely but I am told it has little left to give. An entire half of it bore no flowers this season, twice as much as last year. A friend said it may be a grub. The local nursery says it might be too close to the road. I can’t see signs of either. Maybe poor soil. But as the last of the petals flicker in the Spring wind I will try again if next season this little tree doesn’t bounce back—Dominick

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