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As well as the shade the plants are also contending with root competition! I would probably leave it but, if you want to prune the tree, definitely use a qualified aborist (not a tree lopper) and find someone whose work you can look at before you employ them. She is often heard on radio and at garden shows answering garden queries. Pruning a magnolia will not damage it but it will encourage the growth of wispy shoots which detract from the shape of the plant. Hi Jennifer. I have planted a Lilly Magnolia about 20?years ago. In summer it is green and leafy but in autumn the leaves fall. But, of course. Pruning the magnolias however was not going to give a good outcome for the homeowners, the view or the tree. Recently Jennifer Stackhouse made the big move from Kurmond in NSW to a Federation house in the little village of Barrington tucked beneath Mt Roland in northwest Tasmania. Remember to always cut branches off just outside of a branch collar, never remove more than one-third of the tree each season, and avoid pruning a mature magnolia unless absolutely necessary. I live in Johannesburg South Africa. Prune your star magnolia after it blooms to help shape it within the first 5 years after you plant it. You’ll need to prune that jacaranda with a great deal of care and follow up to remove the suckers that follow pruning. Prune the tulip magnolia from the top down so you can create a graduated shape. Photo Sandra Heggen. We had a Magnolia tree. However, we had a late frost/snow this spring (Chicago) and although the flowers bloomed, many of the branches have not leafed out, or have one small tiny leaf on it. It is getting blooms and buds and I’m not sure what to do. For one thing, magnolia trees do not heal as well as most trees from pruning cuts (which can lead to the introduction of diseases), and, for another, you can easily spoil the looks of a magnolia tree by getting carried away in pruning it. Is there any recovery or an I doomed to remove it and replace with an appropriate plant? That’s a very tricky question. This will ensure moist soil and that lawn mowers remain a safe distance from the trunk. Once commonly called Japanese magnolia, it’s known scientifically as Magnolia x soulangiana. Beneath its branches is our summer living room shared by neighbors and friends. Cut of the branches that are growing into rhododendron removing them flush to maintain a nice shape. If they are deciduous have them pruned in autumn. It may be growing in too much shade (that reduces flowering), something may be attacking the buds reducing flowering (such as birds) or it may be moisture stressed. It may be appropriate to buy and plant a new one in the meantime. The small area was overgrown with trees, and their foliage was aged and somewhat motley, so the (miscommunicated) directions from the owner seemed appropriate. Its growth rate is moderately fast but slows down considerably … It’s roughly 9″ tall and 6″ in diameter. Living on the southern shore of Lake Erie, we often have very strong winds which threaten to blow it over in a storm. Remove wayward branches, branches that cross or dead wood in late winter or late summer. Due to … Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! If it duplicates, my apologies. With any magnolia, it is better to aim on the side of pruning too little than too much. Magnolia pruning should be carried out in midsummer when in full leaf; Deciduous Magnolias are best planted when dormant, in late fall or winter in warmer climates and early spring in cold climates. I’m from Montreal, Canada and loved reading your article. Jennifer is the author of several gardening books including 'Garden', which won a Book Laurel for 2013, as well as ‘The Organic Guide to Edible Gardens’, ‘Planting Techniques’ and ‘My Gardening Year’, which she wrote with her mother Shirley. It is after the flowering as the new leaf growth erupts that the tree will again block out the sea view and the seaside suburb may hear the sound of a revving chainsaw. Some evergreen magnolias are trained to a wall and should be pruned in the summer. Jennifer. Part of the series: Tulip Planting Guide. The extra sunlight may mean there’s a chance for flowers, a few vegies or herbs to grow beneath the canopy. Some species are native to the United States while others are native to the West Indies, Mexico and Central America. If the top part is dead then you need to prune it out. With the leaves gone from these trees, the view of the sea would be seen clearly through autumn and winter viewed through a tracery of branches. Knowing how to trim magnolia trees is important in order to maintain their continued health in the landscape. Learn how to prune Magnolias from renowned pruning guru Cass Turnbull, founder of PlantAmnesty. When new shoots appear, they too should be cut away or better still, rubbed off by hand. Prune up to 1/3 of a magnolia bush each season all the way back to the ground to encourage new growth from the base of the plant. Narrow goblet-shaped, the blossoms, up to 5 in. As the demand for this ornamental tree is very high, several tulip tree hybrids are being developed that have specific traits. Hope it works out. Occasionally the earliest flowers to bloom can be slightly different from later ones so probably by spring the flowers will appear normal. I’m posting this a second time as I didn’t see the original post populate. You'd say, "Oh, Grumpy, once again you are my shining light! Pruning … The suckering doesn’t sound good. Of course pruning at this time will remove flowering. As well, in winter when the tree is bare, the ugly cut branches would be in clear sight, spoiling the view of the sea beyond. I hope this helps! Pruning a young tree should encourage it to produce more blossoms. While it may reshoot such drastic pruning will certainly have spoiled its natural shape and removed any chance of flowering for some time. I think your avocado plan would work. And what if I said their small, tidy stature and no-prune nature make them ideal choices for the average garden? Pruning Evergreen Magnolias . Saucer magnolia is hardy in USDA zones 4-9a and can be successfully planted in North and North Central Florida. Magnolia grandiflora is the main evergreen Magnolia which - if allowed - will grow into a very large, broad, but slightly conical shrub - or small tree. I’m a newcomer to gardening. Once you’re ready for pruning, it’s a good idea to understand how to trim magnolia trees. Many branches are dead but there is now a little growth elsewhere in the lower one third to one half of the tree. If it is a deciduous magnolia, perhaps see how it is shaping up and how it flowers. There is a nearby ash tree that has a limb overshadowing and touching the top of the magnolia. Annual pruning of the magnolia … So, the rule with magnolias is to avoid pruning them unless they are outgrowing their existing space. This can be late spring or early summer, depending on the climatic zone. I recommended that the garden owner watched the trees over the coming winter to see which minor branches could be carefully pruned away to reveal more of the view. I have a 20 year old magnolia solangiana and every year the Rosellas take EVERY bud. Hi, Jennifer. Always trim trees with clean and sharp pruning shears or loppers. I rarely see one flower. Therefore, magnolia tree pruning on older specimens should only be done as a last resort when necessary. Saucer Magnolia is a multi-stemmed, spreading tree, 25 feet tall with a 20 to 30-foot spread and bright, attractive gray bark. If they are evergreen I wouldn’t worry about pruning but I would wait until it was cooler if possible. I’m thinking that I might be able to use this technique with a big old avocado that we have that provides wonderful summer shade but a bit too much winter shade. With the leaves gone from these trees, the view of the sea would be seen clearly through autumn and winter viewed through a tracery of branches. The trees may be growing in too much shade, which is why they are leggy. Deciduous magnolias should be pruned between midsummer and early fall. I put a bag of lawn soil and mulch on top and put up a small fence. Kelly if the two are growing so close together you’ll need to prune either the magnolia or the rhododendron or both. Prune … This is a common scenario and trees usually come off second best to the view. “What should I do?”. HI Jennifer Stackhouse, The show of flowers are only at the top branches now which is about 5 or 6 meters up. With high rainfall, rich, red deep soil and a mild climate she reckons she's won the gardening lottery. Is there anything to be done or will it not survive the large loss of limbs? I love the idea of ‘creating space for a bird to fly through the branches’. Mature magnolia trees do not recover from pruning and can sustain fatal wounds. It is a classy and beautiful small tree that grows to around 6m high and wide. (cold and snowy). It has come back strong this year. Any help would be appreciated. It would be a great loss to everyone. Although pruning magnolia trees is not necessary, young trees can be shaped as they grow. Jennifer. (I am in central WV in the USA). Rubbing away the soft new growth as soon as it emerges gradually deters any further growth. except for the center top trunk of the tree. They have long spindly branches with leaves only on the ends and they are very tall. Re cloud pruning, I regularly drive past a small tree that is pruned like this and it looks fantastic. Your saucer magnolia … I have no idea how to prune the tree to make it more bushy and showy to us earthlings. Yesterday, late June, I pruned out the dead branches around the tree, Shorten long, young branches and remove lower boughs if you desire a bare stem. If it is one of the tree species then remove the lower growth but watch for regrowth and rub it off when it appears. The one by the patio deck is lush and doing great. These magnolias can be pruned all over to encourage denser growth. I have a small purplish pink Magnolia tree ( Ann?) I have a tall spindly magnolia (i.e. Japanese magnolias heal slowly from pruning cuts. I wanted a tree – what type of pruning can I do to have it become a tree instead of a shrub? Prune a second time in mid-summer to cut back on … I may have been using too much pressure on the nozzle when watering last year, the ash tree is shading too much, cold weather issues have affected this tree, and the pups have dug nearby looking for chipmunks and critters last fall. This is especially true with magnolias, as these trees can reach heights of 60-80 feet in their lifetime. Angela – how lovely to hear from you! Avoid pruning tulip magnolia when the sap is running freely. Young deciduous magnolias rarely require pruning apart from removing weak or damaged branches or long vertical shoots. With its central trunk – the leader – dead it will develop more of a spreading shape. I have a brand new magnolia that was planted last year. If so, it will look like it was just planted and a very small tree and about a third of it’s normal size. Remove branches that are crossing or rubbing and cut off any suckers. Depending on your climate and variety, this could be in spring or summer. Two large branches are growing from near the base of the tree, at approximately 45-degree angles and are encroaching on trees in our neighbor’s yard. The Japanese magnolia opens its fat, furry flower buds in February before the foliage emerges. One of the upper branches became too heavy and split the main trunk. It has never been pruned but have now become a tall leggy magnolia. Benefits of Pruning The magnolia tree has overgrown and the branches are taking over the rhododendron. Also, be sure to stand back and assess your work each time you make a cut. It sounds like a lot of things could have gone wrong for this tree and it probably relates to some type of root damage – the hosing, the dogs digging even adding soil around the base of the plant – could have damaged it. Mature magnolia trees do not recover from pruning and can sustain fatal wounds. Therefore, magnolia tree pruning on older specimens should only be done as a last resort when necessary. She was editor of ABC 'Gardening Australia' magazine and now edits the trade journal 'Greenworld' magazine and writes regularly for the Saturday magazine in 'The Mercury'. The tree is too high for me to net ! Do I carefully prune it so it comes back to a tree form, will it remain healthy as is or should I have it removed completely? (I have so many other questions for the rest of my new garden too.) It is important to cover the base of the tree with mulch on a yearly basis. I am not sure where you are, but don’t prune the magnolia in the hot weather – probably autumn is a good time or better wait until winter when the magnolia is bare and you can better see the branch structure. While this Magnolia … The idea is to try to remove the very young soft re-growth by rubbing it off with your finger. Kirsten these magnolias are probably evergreen varieties – that is they have large, leathery green leaves often brown on their underside that stay on the tree all year. Prune in early spring and keep the plants well watered. Irene. Rich pink flowers on Magnolia x soulangeana. This summer flowering Magnolia … I have two Sweet Bay Magnolias in Kentucky. It could die or dieback. If any pruning is done during hot weather, there’s also a chance that the exposed branches could suffer sunburn leading to dieback. For magnolias that bloom in early spring, the best time for pruning is soon after the tree has finished blooming. From that point, it was a matter of time and we had it cut down last year. Judicious pruning, such as on these sasanqua camellias, can open up views through without damaging the plant’s overall shape. Days are around 95 degrees right now. After flowering, feed with an azalea and camellia food. Thinning side growth and clipping the top growth into green ‘clouds’ creates a striking garden feature as well as revealing interesting branches and making space for more plants. To protect yours from wound-infesting diseases and pests, prune only to shape it and remove dead or crossing branches, or to encourage a tree form by removing its lower branches. Credit: Denny Schrock. I have a Jane Magnolia that is beautiful. Is it better to trim or just hope for the best? Trimming a magnolia tree when it is young will also improve the health of the tree and encourage more blooms. It is a sad experience all round and I am sorry for you and for the owners of the garden. Will just do as you suggest. Where the stems are cut the plant sends up vertical growth. Use a saw to remove any of the large wood … The early spring, goblet-shaped, slightly fragrant, white flowers are tinged with pink. Any thoughts on this? Should I prune the one center branch down to where it’s got some new growth? Magnolia x soulangeana in flower against a brilliant blue sky is a sight to behold. It may be better to take the magnolia out, put it in a large pot to see if it can recover and plant something smaller in the spot or plant away from the overhanging tree. across (12 cm), count 6 slightly twisted tepals, purple-red on the outside and paler inside. In late fall clustered seed … Last year, the one in the middle of the yard was gorgeous and twice as tall. Pruning the magnolias however was not going to give a good outcome for the homeowners, the view or the tree. Perfect for small gardens, Magnolia 'Susan' is a slow-growing deciduous shrub or small tree with fragrant reddish-purple flowers in mid to late spring. The center trunk shoots 5-7 feet above the rest of the tree & appears dead. Choose magnolia tree type carefully, and the priority should be suitability … My lawn is clay soil based and has an irrigation system installed. Thank you! Remove any branches that are not in line with the tree’s natural shape. The best time to prune a Jane magnolia … One of the secondary branches became too heavy and split the main trunk, otherwise the tree was healthy. All the best Jennifer, Any tips on how to encourage growth? Is there anything I could do, like some suitable fertiliser for example? When to Prune a Magnolia Tree. Any guidance would be welcome. We had it cut down last year. Secondly, will the Magnolia suffer in any way from having a Yucca or the hydrangea planted near its base? Very interesting post – thanks. Thank you. Anise Magnolia (Magnolia salicifolia) The anise magnolia has leaves that look somewhat like those … … Like with any tree, the key to good pruning or even adequate pruning is to not overdo it and harm the plant’s growth potential. I am living in Tassie now with a beautiful garden. This strong new growth would quickly block out the view with dense branches. She's taken on an acre garden that's been lovingly planted and tended for the past 28 years by a pair of keen gardeners so she is discovering a garden full of horticultural treasures. Just remove a few branches to start with. It is a classy and beautiful small tree that grows to around 6m high and wide. The top half of the tree was getting very leggy. When a magnolia is pruned it loses its naturally rounded shape. Thanks. It may also have suffered cold damage last winter. Knowing when to prune magnolia trees is important. It probably isn’t just the size that’s the problem. Jennifer, Thank thank for your response Jennifer. Jennifer, Hi Jennifer, I was cleaning up a very overgrown yard when a miscommunication occurred with the house owner, and I trimmed back.a magnolia and a casurina to stump level (about 80 cm tall). Remove all dead, diseased or otherwise injured branches first. Unlike the native Southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), the Japanese magnolia is … Magnolia trees and the South go together like cookies and milk. As pruning encourages new growth, the pruned areas would need to be kept under observation. I have been advised against cutting it back but it seems to me that this idea to thin out some of the smaller branches might work. Photo Sandra Heggen. Jennifer. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. Evergreen shrubs such as sasanqua camellia and euonymus are good candidates for this type of pruning. Japanese magnolia or Kobus magnolia is a medium-sized tree native to the forests of Japan. When a magnolia is pruned it loses its naturally rounded shape. The stump was left and this year, we have what appears to be a Magnolia shrub! Pruning often just encourages bushy regrowth that’s more likely to be damaged by the wind in the future and as I’ve said in the blog, pruning often spoils the shape of a magnola. We have thought about cut off high clusters on top to reduce wind resistance. Young evergreen magnolias are best trimmed in mid to late spring only when needed. Tulip, Japanese or saucer magnolias (Magnolia x soulangeana) are deciduous trees that grow to a height of 20 to 25 feet (6.1 to 7.6 m) and produce huge, fragrant flowers in the spring. Also an issue is growth that touches the roof of our home when the wind blows. A Jane magnolia grows to a mature height of 10 to 15 feet high and approximately 6 to 15 feet in diameter. Hi Jennifer. Pruning: Pruning should be done as needed before foliage begins to flush out inspring. Late summer early fall, it lost most of its leaves and looked like branches were dying. Lightening a canopy so it can be looked through is also a handy technique to use to let more light into gardens filled with dense leafy growth. Do this immediately after flowering. Avoid extensive pruning this time of year of spring-flowering ornamental trees and shrubs (those that bloom from January through April), such as Japanese magnolia, silverbell, parsley hawthorn, Taiwan … Evidently the magnolias have grown so well they are now blocking the sea view and her chainsaw-wielding hubby enjoys his sea view. In January or February, take several 12″ cuttings from the tips of various branches in the interior of the plant. Please tell me more!" © 2020 GardenDrum All Rights Reserved | ADMIN. You may need to select several branches that will give the tree shape you want and cleanly remove the others. Thank you in advance for your reply! The only pruning I would do is to lightly tip prune. They have long spindly branches with leaves only on the ends and they are very tall. Do not prune in winter or early spring, as the tree may not produce any blossoms the following year. … I have recently moved into a house with a number of very leggy magnolia trees I have no idea how to prune them to make them more bushy. The trees in question were Magnolia x soulangeana, which is a deciduous, spring-flowering magnolia. Magnolias can be evergreen or deciduous and can bloom in early spring or in summer. Over pruning, even on a young tree, can cause stress. Best wishes Jennifer. Any advice for the positioning or the care of my plants would be welcome. Try not to get cuttings with a fuzzy swollen tip bud; these are flower buds and will inhibit rooting. With some exceptions, pruning really is not widely considered a must (or even desirable) for this popular flowering tree. Try spreading a mulch of compost and well-rotted manure under the plant, giving it more water now as we move into the flowering period in the Southern Hemisphere and continue extra water through spring and summer. I am concerned about stressing out the magnolia. My worry is that it will be a bush instead of a tree because there are many starts coming up from the dirt below it. Although pruning magnolia trees is not necessary, young trees can be shaped as they grow. If it was so overgrown then it would not have been doing well which is why it appeared motley. Return to the pruning site on the trunk or stems to remove regrowth. I’m not an expert on pruning magnolia trees, although the advice in this article looks good. Regards. Follow up by removing the first signs of regrowth on the pruned sites. Watch for new growth especially lower down. It does have blooms and buds. Failure to water during hot, dry weather stresses the tree, making it more susceptible to disease. Any help would be appreciated. Jennifer. What Are Loppers Used For: Tips On Using Garden Loppers For Pruning, Milk Fertilizer Benefits: Using Milk Fertilizer On Plants, Zone 5 Magnolia Trees – Tips On Growing Magnolia Trees In Zone 5, Gifting Used Gardening Books: How To Donate Garden Books, Regional To-Do List: West North Central Gardening In December, Plant Swap Ideas – How To Create Your Own Plant Swap, Ornamental Grasses Without Plumes: No Plumes On Ornamental Grass, Artillery Plant Info: Tips For Growing Artillery Plants, Gravel Garden Plants – Learn How To Make A Gravel Garden, Pecan Planting Guide: Tips On Growing And Caring For Pecan Trees, The Act Of Giving – Crafty Ways To Give Back, Grateful To Give Back: Sharing The Garden With Others In Need, We’re All In This Together - Passing On Gratitude In The Garden, Recipes From The Garden: Pressure Cooking Root Vegetables. Sign up for our newsletter. Jan – I am sure it will recover, especially if it is kept well watered in spring and summer. Firstly, do I need to protect the Magnolia for the winter? Hi Jennifer, I’m sending this article straight to my husband to prove my point about our lovely old jacaranda which totally covers the backyard and is now blocking out light to the citrus and roses which are consequently suffering. Hi Jennifer, We had a beautiful Magnolia tree. This summer, a landscaper planted a Magnolia x Soulangiana in my front yard facing north along with a Yucca Filamentosa and an Endless Summer Hydrangea (I noticed my blue Hydrangeas turned dark pink after a few weeks) all about a foot apart. But if you still decide to prune, consider this advice: In general, you want to make sure to: 1. It is a moderate-sized tree that blooms beautiful purple and red flower blooms during the spring and summer months. Betsy Certainly if the tree has been there for 65 years it is probably quite used to the wind. Planting and Care. Rhododendrons can be pruned and shaped so may be that is the best option. You can keep them pruned and shaped without too much worry. Bring the canopy up to desired level and remove any dead wood or crossing / rubbing branches so as not to incur wounds which will allow fungus and insect damage to enter. Hi Jennifer, I hope you can help. Jennifer. which is about 15 years old.Late last summer,I asked the gardeners not to ever cut it, one day I went out to stop them,only to find when I turned my back for a second,they whacked off several branches which hung over the fence..Now it’s nearly spring here in the San Francisco Bay area and the tree is starting to bloom..The flowers are totally different from what I’ve ever seen before as they are now very small and a dark purple color.Pretty color,but why are they so small?The tree has forked out more and the middle trunk is growing wider..What have they done to my beautiful tree and will it ever be the same again? What is your recommendation? three branches growing from the stem) and would like to encourage more branches up the length of the stem…, Water – lots of it – slow release fertiliser around the drip line (the edge of the canopy) and a 5cm mulch of aged cow manure will really help bring on new growth. What type of magnolias are these? We have a large, mature, Magnolia. If it is an evergreen magnolia it will be fine. It was only a matter of time until it failed. A: Japanese magnolia is pretty easy to propagate. As with the magnolia, cut flush with the stem where healing can occur and rub off any future shoots from that point. The Japanese magnolia tree has a soft-bark outer casing and can be easily damaged with lawn equipment. The time after the first bloom is the only time you should do any significant pruning on your magnolia tree. Some of the popular varieties include Royal star Japanese magnolia (pure white flower), Ann Japanese magnolia (bright pink blooms), butterfly Japanese magnolia (creamy yellow flower), and Jane Japanese magnolia (red purple petals). Sweetbay magnolia (Magnolia virginiana) doesn’t bloom until the summer. I’m unsure what to do at this point. Magnolia trees can benefit greatly from proper pruning done at the right intervals. Trimming a magnolia tree when it is young will also improve the health of the tree and encourage more blooms. The stump was left and now we have a magnolia shrub. Gerdie, Hi Gerdie: I can understand your frustration but magnolias don’t respond well to hard pruning and that’s what would be needed to make the bush smaller. The tree is about 12 feet tall and 3 1/2 years old. Space the main scaffold branches at least 18 to 24 inches apart. I have a small front yard with a very well established Japanese Magnolia. “He wants to prune the magnolias,” she added. Magnolia trees sometimes go by a different name -- tulip trees. Rather than using the chainsaw, these thinner branches could be removed delicately with secateurs or shears cutting flush with the main branches. Gx. It’s a lovely plant but is dwarfing my yard. I’m concerned about stressing the Magnolia by having those branches removed by a tree service. This technique is useful for any pruning where clusters of new growth form around a pruning cut. I need your guidance. Best wishes Jennifer, Hi Jennifer. Cut it all down, prune it or leave it as is? The living part of the tree is the bottom 4-5 feet. Hello Kristen, Japanese gardeners, who know how to wield secateurs to create eye-catching bonsai and topiary plants, describe this type of pruning as: “creating space for a bird to fly through the branches”. Pruning can also cause flowering to reduce for a couple of years. I am wondering however if the ash tree is overgrowing the magnolia why have a tree trying to grow under its canopy. Hello Jennifer, Hello-we have a 20 foot magnolia tree that has 2 rhododendrons the same size beside it. Another multi-stemmed magnolia that will need pruning guidance as a young tree, it’s the exception to the usual pruning … I didn’t have a good feeling about future for those magnolias but I did my best to save them with advice about how to deal with the tricky situation.
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