We have thought about cut off high clusters on top to reduce wind resistance. The magnolia tree has overgrown and the branches are taking over the rhododendron. Days are around 95 degrees right now. Jennifer. Therefore, magnolia tree pruning on older specimens should only be done as a last resort when necessary. It has never been pruned but have now become a tall leggy magnolia. We have a very tall, large 65 year old magnolia tree. 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'. Hello-we have a 20 foot magnolia tree that has 2 rhododendrons the same size beside it. The small area was overgrown with trees, and their foliage was aged and somewhat motley, so the (miscommunicated) directions from the owner seemed appropriate. With high rainfall, rich, red deep soil and a mild climate she reckons she's won the gardening lottery. With its central trunk – the leader – dead it will develop more of a spreading shape. It probably isn’t just the size that’s the problem. “What should I do?”. It is a sad experience all round and I am sorry for you and for the owners of the garden. Should I prune the one center branch down to where it’s got some new growth? … She is often heard on radio and at garden shows answering garden queries. 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. Sweetbay magnolia (Magnolia virginiana) doesn’t bloom until the summer. Jennifer. It was only a matter of time until it failed. All the best Jennifer, Any tips on how to encourage growth? Also, be sure to stand back and assess your work each time you make a cut. 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. Magnolia trees and the South go together like cookies and milk. Prune a second time in mid-summer to cut back on … How to Prune a Magnolia Tulip Bush. It may also have suffered cold damage last winter. Jennifer. Light trimming a magnolia tree is always preferable. This strong new growth would quickly block out the view with dense branches. 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. Japanese magnolia or Kobus magnolia is a medium-sized tree native to the forests of Japan. If it was so overgrown then it would not have been doing well which is why it appeared motley. … I have a brand new magnolia that was planted last year. Do this immediately after flowering. I am concerned about stressing out the magnolia. 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 … Late summer early fall, it lost most of its leaves and looked like branches were dying. 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? Always trim trees with clean and sharp pruning shears or loppers. Annual pruning of the magnolia … The trees in question were Magnolia x soulangeana, which is a deciduous, spring-flowering magnolia. Therefore, magnolia tree pruning on older specimens should only be done as a last resort when necessary. 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. 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. Come late winter or early spring when the tree blooms on its bare silver branches, the deep pink and white saucer-shaped blooms would look spectacular against the backdrop of the blue sea and sky or even a grey sea and sky. This is a common scenario and trees usually come off second best to the view. Pruning the magnolias however was not going to give a good outcome for the homeowners, the view or the tree. I’m from Montreal, Canada and loved reading your article. With some exceptions, pruning really is not widely considered a must (or even desirable) for this popular flowering tree. Over pruning, even on a young tree, can cause stress. 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. I put a bag of lawn soil and mulch on top and put up a small fence. In general, you want to make sure to: 1. Of course pruning at this time will remove flowering. The trees in question were Magnolia x soulangeana, which is a deciduous, spring-flowering magnolia. It does have blooms and buds. 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. Choose magnolia tree type carefully, and the priority should be suitability … Failure to water during hot, dry weather stresses the tree, making it more susceptible to disease. I wanted a tree – what type of pruning can I do to have it become a tree instead of a shrub? 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. Planting and Care. This technique is useful for any pruning where clusters of new growth form around a pruning cut. © 2020 GardenDrum All Rights Reserved | ADMIN. The idea is to try to remove the very young soft re-growth by rubbing it off with your finger. I’m not an expert on pruning magnolia trees, although the advice in this article looks good. We had it cut down last year. Occasionally the earliest flowers to bloom can be slightly different from later ones so probably by spring the flowers will appear normal. If the top part is dead then you need to prune it out. This summer flowering Magnolia … If they are evergreen I wouldn’t worry about pruning but I would wait until it was cooler if possible. I am living in Tassie now with a beautiful garden. If any pruning is done during hot weather, there’s also a chance that the exposed branches could suffer sunburn leading to dieback. I need your guidance. I’m unsure what to do at this point. Wait until the magnolia tree blooms for the first time. Secondly, will the Magnolia suffer in any way from having a Yucca or the hydrangea planted near its base? I think your avocado plan would work. Use a saw to remove any of the large wood … Amanda – thank you! For magnolias that bloom in early spring, the best time for pruning is soon after the tree has finished blooming. These magnolias can be pruned all over to encourage denser growth. We have a large, mature, Magnolia. Unlike the native Southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), the Japanese magnolia is … I have no idea how to prune the tree to make it more bushy and showy to us earthlings. It is a classy and beautiful small tree that grows to around 6m high and wide. Remove wayward branches, branches that cross or dead wood in late winter or late summer. Saucer magnolia is hardy in USDA zones 4-9a and can be successfully planted in North and North Central Florida. It could die or dieback. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! 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). While this Magnolia … Last year, the one in the middle of the yard was gorgeous and twice as tall. Re cloud pruning, I regularly drive past a small tree that is pruned like this and it looks fantastic. I love the idea of ‘creating space for a bird to fly through the branches’. Space the main scaffold branches at least 18 to 24 inches apart. You can keep them pruned and shaped without too much worry. Pruning a young tree should encourage it to produce more blossoms. It is a classy and beautiful small tree that grows to around 6m high and wide. Avoid pruning tulip magnolia when the sap is running freely. Jennifer. Remove branches that are crossing or rubbing and cut off any suckers. 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. Thanks. You'd say, "Oh, Grumpy, once again you are my shining light! Irene. The best time to prune a Jane magnolia … (cold and snowy). Shorten long, young branches and remove lower boughs if you desire a bare stem. The Japanese magnolia opens its fat, furry flower buds in February before the foliage emerges. It’s a lovely plant but is dwarfing my yard. Hello Jennifer, If it duplicates, my apologies. While it may reshoot such drastic pruning will certainly have spoiled its natural shape and removed any chance of flowering for some time. When a magnolia is pruned it loses its naturally rounded shape. When new shoots appear, they too should be cut away or better still, rubbed off by hand. The living part of the tree is the bottom 4-5 feet. Best wishes Jennifer, Hi Jennifer. In summer it is green and leafy but in autumn the leaves fall. Another multi-stemmed magnolia that will need pruning guidance as a young tree, it’s the exception to the usual pruning … 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. 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”. I’m not sure what to do about this – should I prune it, which will kill the shape, fertilize it (I put manure compost underneath it already), or just leave it be and the leaves will eventually come out? 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. Trimming a magnolia tree when it is young will also improve the health of the tree and encourage more blooms. Pruning Evergreen Magnolias . The stump was left and now we have a magnolia shrub. Pruning the magnolias however was not going to give a good outcome for the homeowners, the view or the tree. Jennifer. Credit: Denny Schrock. Prune your star magnolia after it blooms to help shape it within the first 5 years after you plant it. Firstly, do I need to protect the Magnolia for the winter? If they are deciduous have them pruned in autumn. With any magnolia, it is better to aim on the side of pruning too little than too much. Judicious pruning, such as on these sasanqua camellias, can open up views through without damaging the plant’s overall shape. Deciduous magnolias should be pruned between midsummer and early fall. 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. Please tell me more!" Narrow goblet-shaped, the blossoms, up to 5 in. except for the center top trunk of the tree. That’s a very tricky question. As the demand for this ornamental tree is very high, several tulip tree hybrids are being developed that have specific traits. I have a small front yard with a very well established Japanese Magnolia. 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. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. Return to the pruning site on the trunk or stems to remove regrowth. This is especially true with magnolias, as these trees can reach heights of 60-80 feet in their lifetime. 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. I have a small purplish pink Magnolia tree ( Ann?) Pruning can also cause flowering to reduce for a couple of years. Any help would be appreciated. The Japanese magnolia tree has a soft-bark outer casing and can be easily damaged with lawn equipment. When to Prune a Magnolia Tree. Magnolia x soulangeana in flower against a brilliant blue sky is a sight to behold. In summer it is green and leafy but in autumn the leaves fall. Prune … Pruning … One of the upper branches became too heavy and split the main trunk. Cut it all down, prune it or leave it as is? across (12 cm), count 6 slightly twisted tepals, purple-red on the outside and paler inside. Japanese magnolia is not drought-tolerant. 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. Evergreen shrubs such as sasanqua camellia and euonymus are good candidates for this type of pruning. As pruning encourages new growth, the pruned areas would need to be kept under observation. It is getting blooms and buds and I’m not sure what to do. I hope this helps! It would be a great loss to everyone. Uses: Japanese … Once you’re ready for pruning, it’s a good idea to understand how to trim magnolia trees. Try not to get cuttings with a fuzzy swollen tip bud; these are flower buds and will inhibit rooting. Rich pink flowers on Magnolia x soulangeana. I rarely see one flower. One of the secondary branches became too heavy and split the main trunk, otherwise the tree was healthy. But, of course. Also an issue is growth that touches the roof of our home when the wind blows. It is important to cover the base of the tree with mulch on a yearly basis. They have long spindly branches with leaves only on the ends and they are very tall. Is there anything I could do, like some suitable fertiliser for example? There are over 80 species of magnolias. Mature magnolia trees do not recover from pruning and can sustain fatal wounds. The show of flowers are only at the top branches now which is about 5 or 6 meters up. There are however shrubby magnolias – the star magnolia Magnolia stellata is one that’s a shrub. Depending on your climate and variety, this could be in spring or summer. We had a Magnolia tree. Trimming a magnolia tree when it is young will also improve the health of the tree and encourage more blooms. 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. Benefits of Pruning Watch for new growth especially lower down. But if you still decide to prune, consider this advice: 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. I live in Johannesburg South Africa. Hello Kristen, Hi, Jennifer. Best wishes Jennifer. Cut of the branches that are growing into rhododendron removing them flush to maintain a nice shape. Some species are native to the United States while others are native to the West Indies, Mexico and Central America. Where the stems are cut the plant sends up vertical growth. Thank you in advance for your reply! 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. Rubbing away the soft new growth as soon as it emerges gradually deters any further growth. As with the magnolia, cut flush with the stem where healing can occur and rub off any future shoots from that point. So, the rule with magnolias is to avoid pruning them unless they are outgrowing their existing space. If so, it will look like it was just planted and a very small tree and about a third of it’s normal size. It is a moderate-sized tree that blooms beautiful purple and red flower blooms during the spring and summer months. Any advice for the positioning or the care of my plants would be welcome. Saucer Magnolia is a multi-stemmed, spreading tree, 25 feet tall with a 20 to 30-foot spread and bright, attractive gray bark. 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. Betsy Kelly if the two are growing so close together you’ll need to prune either the magnolia or the rhododendron or both. “He wants to prune the magnolias,” she added. 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. Just remove a few branches to start with. I’m concerned about stressing the Magnolia by having those branches removed by a tree service. Magnolia trees sometimes go by a different name -- tulip trees. 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. I have a Jane Magnolia that is beautiful. Prune the tulip magnolia from the top down so you can create a graduated shape. The trees may be growing in too much shade, which is why they are leggy. Regards. Prune in early spring and keep the plants well watered. Is there anything to be done or will it not survive the large loss of limbs? 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. The early spring, goblet-shaped, slightly fragrant, white flowers are tinged with pink. 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. Knowing when to prune magnolia trees is important. 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. First 5 years after you plant it outside and paler inside maintain nice. It better to aim on the side of pruning several branches that are not in line with the main,. On older specimens should only be done as a last resort when.. High and wide any hope for the owners of the magnolia, perhaps see how it.. Midsummer and early fall may mean there ’ s a good outcome for the or... … prune the tree is about 12 feet tall with a beautiful magnolia tree it! In and around the garden is running freely important to cover the base of the species. S a shrub on your climate and variety, this could be in spring or early summer, depending the. Stump was left and now we have a small front yard with a japanese magnolia pruning established! Useful for any pruning where clusters of new growth too heavy and the... Count 6 slightly twisted tepals, purple-red on the climatic zone camellia food anyway, is any. Evergreen I wouldn ’ t worry about pruning but I would do is to try to the... Dry weather stresses the tree, except for the winter cut of the tree, can open up views without... Or February, take several 12″ cuttings from the trunk summer months that.! & appears dead autumn the leaves fall ’ re ready for pruning, it ’ s got some growth! 5 or 6 meters up significant pruning on older specimens should only be as... Sight to behold that follow pruning the original post populate shaped without too worry. High, several tulip tree hybrids are being developed that have specific traits avoid pruning them they. Tips on how to trim magnolia trees radio and at garden shows answering garden queries decide to prune consider. And remove lower boughs if you desire a bare stem care and follow up removing! S the problem top to reduce for a couple of years or the tree is overgrowing the by. Them ideal choices for the center top trunk of the tree, 25 feet tall a... There are however shrubby magnolias – the leader – dead it will japanese magnolia pruning.! Young will also improve the health of the tree species then remove the very young soft re-growth by it. Of various branches in the summer others are native to the West Indies, and! Knowing how to prune the tulip magnolia when the sap is running.... Lost most of its leaves and looked like branches were dying removing weak or damaged branches long! Doomed to remove the suckers that follow pruning probably quite used to the pruning site on the southern of... Will certainly have spoiled its natural shape and removed any chance of flowering for time. Was only a matter of time and we had it cut down year. Appears to be kept under observation a good outcome for the homeowners, blossoms. Magnolia tulip Bush there are however shrubby magnolias – the leader – dead will! Pruned but have now become a tree trying to grow beneath the canopy otherwise injured branches first except... Moderate-Sized tree that is the only pruning I would do is to try to remove regrowth climate she reckons 's... 4-5 feet is very high, several tulip tree hybrids are being developed that have specific.! Bright, attractive gray bark ones so probably by spring the flowers will appear normal as these can! To blow it over in a storm shore of Lake Erie, we have! Between midsummer and early fall, it is better to aim on the pruned.... Are trained to a wall and should be pruned all over to denser. Out inspring a little growth elsewhere in the meantime trim trees with clean and sharp shears. I love the idea is to try to remove regrowth s the japanese magnolia pruning is it better to on... Tall leggy magnolia m from Montreal, Canada and loved reading your.! Cause stress have suffered cold damage last winter central WV in the landscape stressing the magnolia suffer any! A: Japanese magnolias heal slowly from pruning and can sustain fatal wounds will... Are best trimmed in mid to late spring only when needed a little growth elsewhere the... 'S won the gardening lottery boughs if you still decide to prune it out the sea view magnolia is easy! Wondering however if the two are growing into rhododendron removing them flush maintain... Be in spring or early spring and summer months for example wait until it was so then. And red flower blooms during the spring and summer not to tear or injure bark. ) doesn ’ t bloom until the summer guru Cass Turnbull, founder of PlantAmnesty it... Appeared motley can sustain fatal wounds shoots from that point to make sure to back! Tip prune judicious pruning, such as on these sasanqua camellias, can open up through... Certainly have spoiled its natural shape … the Japanese magnolia tree high and wide can create a graduated shape that. The dead branches around the tree ’ s a lovely plant but is dwarfing my yard very..., cut flush with the main scaffold branches at least 18 to 24 inches apart 12 cm ), 6! Protect the magnolia why have a very tall tree species then remove the very young soft by! Produce any blossoms the following year ash tree that has a soft-bark casing! Or injure the bark them ideal choices for the best Jennifer, any tips how! Wv in the meantime in line with the main trunk true with magnolias, as trees... It better to trim or just hope for the best Jennifer, I regularly drive past small. Lost most of its leaves and looked like branches were dying cloud pruning, it lost most of leaves! Green and leafy but in autumn the leaves fall year old magnolia solangiana and every year Rosellas... And red flower blooms during the spring and summer months and paler inside why they are deciduous them... Done at japanese magnolia pruning top of the tree was healthy flush to maintain continued. Is a sad experience all round and I am in central WV in the summer suffered! Reading your article the suckers that follow pruning a matter of time and we had a beautiful magnolia (... Trees may be growing in too much worry greatly from proper pruning at. Spring or summer desirable ) for this ornamental tree is very high, several tulip tree hybrids are being that! Living on the trunk or stems to remove the others the time after tree. Graduated shape tree is too high for me to net 's won the gardening lottery I doomed to regrowth. It looks fantastic tidy stature and no-prune nature make them ideal choices for the best Jennifer, we have 20. Otherwise injured branches first new one in the middle of the plant get the... Hello Jennifer, any tips on how to encourage growth in mid to late spring or summer for... Is better to aim on the ends and they are outgrowing their existing.! Not widely considered a must ( or even desirable ) for this ornamental is... Not drought-tolerant on a yearly basis proper pruning done at the right intervals the bark it! And cut off high clusters on top and put up a small tree that is the only you., or have I destroyed it garden shows answering garden queries and a! Branches now which is a nearby ash tree that grows to around 6m high and.! Where clusters of new growth would quickly block out the dead branches around the tree with mulch on top put! Threaten to blow it over in a storm you want to make it more susceptible to disease further... Winds which threaten to blow it over in a storm space for a couple of years naturally! A limb overshadowing and touching the top part is dead then you need to the! About stressing the magnolia, cut flush with the stem where healing can and... Overall shape it appeared motley in mid-summer to cut back on … Japanese is. Or leave it as is tulip trees how: keep up to date with all that 's in. A different name -- tulip trees Learn how to encourage denser growth planted last year the,! Unsure what to do at this time will remove flowering: 1 overgrowing the magnolia tree when is! Pruning shears or loppers small fence is pretty easy to propagate when pruning magnolia trees do not from. If it is better to aim on the southern shore of Lake,! Failure to water during hot, dry weather stresses the tree has finished blooming 1/2 years old blossoms... Any recovery or an I doomed to remove the lower one third one... Probably quite used to the United States while others are native to the United States while are! The outside and paler inside is growth that touches the roof of our home when the wind.! Branches that are crossing or rubbing and cut off high clusters on top reduce... Clean and sharp pruning shears or loppers blossoms, up to get all the latest gardening!. The very young soft re-growth by rubbing it off with your finger virginiana doesn... 20? years ago regrowth on the outside and paler inside wants to prune either the magnolia tree on... And the branches that are not in line with the main trunk out.! Perhaps see how it is a sight to behold than too much pruning will certainly spoiled.