Sugar Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana)
My Spectacular Saucer Magnolia.
“I love this tree. Every April, without fail, it sprouts magnolias — pink and white and as big as the cereal bowls in my kitchen cabinet. In a city this dense, the crown of this tree — at least 30 feet or so — is wide enough to completely fill the windows of a small building with room to spare for the neighbors. The size of these flowers, their colors, and their movement in the spring breeze can alter the light in the room that faces it, change the outlook of the person inhabiting that room. For the two weeks that this tree blooms, the world is a glorious place. How lucky am I to own this miracle of nature?!”
My Vicious Saucer Magnolia.
“I hate this tree. Year after year, its roots have been strangling my waste line (the one under my building, that is…). My sink drains are slow and my toilets don’t flush. When it rains, it all backs up — storm water, human water, and everything in between. I would fix all this if I could. But I can’t. Because while I own the waste line, my neighbor owns that tree. For 52 weeks a year, it’s not just my bathroom that’s out of order, my whole world is. What a wretch I was to buy property next to this work of the devil!”