Young evergreen magnolias are best trimmed in mid to late spring only when needed. Rhododendrons can be pruned and shaped so may be that is the best option. Is it better to trim or just hope for the best? 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. Where the stems are cut the plant sends up vertical growth. Choose magnolia tree type carefully, and the priority should be suitability … “What should I do?”. They have long spindly branches with leaves only on the ends and they are very tall. 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? I’m posting this a second time as I didn’t see the original post populate. I put a bag of lawn soil and mulch on top and put up a small fence. Pruning the magnolias however was not going to give a good outcome for the homeowners, the view or the tree. The idea is to try to remove the very young soft re-growth by rubbing it off with your finger. Prune the tulip magnolia from the top down so you can create a graduated shape. Jennifer. Another multi-stemmed magnolia that will need pruning guidance as a young tree, it’s the exception to the usual pruning … Space the main scaffold branches at least 18 to 24 inches apart. Jennifer. Days are around 95 degrees right now. 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. It was only a matter of time until it failed. Avoid pruning tulip magnolia when the sap is running freely. I have a small purplish pink Magnolia tree ( Ann?) Thank you! Is there anything I could do, like some suitable fertiliser for example? I have a 20 year old magnolia solangiana and every year the Rosellas take EVERY bud. … Shorten long, young branches and remove lower boughs if you desire a bare stem. 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. With any magnolia, it is better to aim on the side of pruning too little than too much. 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. Please tell me more!" What type of magnolias are these? There is a nearby ash tree that has a limb overshadowing and touching the top of the magnolia. I have planted a Lilly Magnolia about 20?years ago. … Japanese magnolia is not drought-tolerant. The tree is about 12 feet tall and 3 1/2 years old. Your saucer magnolia … Pruning can also cause flowering to reduce for a couple of years. Prune your star magnolia after it blooms to help shape it within the first 5 years after you plant it. 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. Uses: Japanese … The early spring, goblet-shaped, slightly fragrant, white flowers are tinged with pink. You can keep them pruned and shaped without too much worry. 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. Young deciduous magnolias rarely require pruning apart from removing weak or damaged branches or long vertical shoots. Jennifer. Light trimming a magnolia tree is always preferable. Angela – how lovely to hear from you! 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. Is there anything to be done or will it not survive the large loss of limbs? I am living in Tassie now with a beautiful garden. Photo Sandra Heggen. Last year, the one in the middle of the yard was gorgeous and twice as tall. Rubbing away the soft new growth as soon as it emerges gradually deters any further growth. 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. Thanks. This summer flowering Magnolia … After flowering, feed with an azalea and camellia food. 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. Unlike the native Southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), the Japanese magnolia is … They have long spindly branches with leaves only on the ends and they are very tall. (I have so many other questions for the rest of my new garden too.) 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. In summer it is green and leafy but in autumn the leaves fall. In January or February, take several 12″ cuttings from the tips of various branches in the interior of the plant. Gx. 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. For magnolias that bloom in early spring, the best time for pruning is soon after the tree has finished blooming. The trees in question were Magnolia x soulangeana, which is a deciduous, spring-flowering magnolia. 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? Annual pruning of the magnolia … Best wishes Jennifer, Hi Jennifer. Saucer Magnolia is a multi-stemmed, spreading tree, 25 feet tall with a 20 to 30-foot spread and bright, attractive gray bark. If it duplicates, my apologies. 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. Although pruning magnolia trees is not necessary, young trees can be shaped as they grow. 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. Be very careful when pruning magnolia trees not to tear or injure the bark. 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. Beneath its branches is our summer living room shared by neighbors and friends. Any thoughts on this? Jan – I am sure it will recover, especially if it is kept well watered in spring and summer. I have two Sweet Bay Magnolias in Kentucky. The aim of this type of pruning wouldn’t be to shorten the overall height of the tree, but to thin out the secondary or tertiary branches to create more transparency. 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. It probably isn’t just the size that’s the problem. The Japanese magnolia tree has a soft-bark outer casing and can be easily damaged with lawn equipment. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. 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. I rarely see one flower. Magnolia trees and the South go together like cookies and milk. There are however shrubby magnolias – the star magnolia Magnolia stellata is one that’s a shrub. 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? 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 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. (cold and snowy). Remove branches that are crossing or rubbing and cut off any suckers. Any help would be appreciated. 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. Many branches are dead but there is now a little growth elsewhere in the lower one third to one half of the tree. Part of the series: Tulip Planting Guide. 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. 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. I think your avocado plan would work. Yesterday, late June, I pruned out the dead branches around the tree, When to Prune a Magnolia Tree. The magnolia tree has overgrown and the branches are taking over the rhododendron. In late fall clustered seed … I hope this helps! Watch for new growth especially lower down. “He wants to prune the magnolias,” she added. It may be appropriate to buy and plant a new one in the meantime. It could die or dieback. It does have blooms and buds. I need your guidance. As pruning encourages new growth, the pruned areas would need to be kept under observation. Hello-we have a 20 foot magnolia tree that has 2 rhododendrons the same size beside it. Will just do as you suggest. Once commonly called Japanese magnolia, it’s known scientifically as Magnolia x soulangiana. 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. Judicious pruning, such as on these sasanqua camellias, can open up views through without damaging the plant’s overall shape. 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. My lawn is clay soil based and has an irrigation system installed. I’m not an expert on pruning magnolia trees, although the advice in this article looks good. 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. There are over 80 species of magnolias. Pruning: Pruning should be done as needed before foliage begins to flush out inspring. Re cloud pruning, I regularly drive past a small tree that is pruned like this and it looks fantastic. I live in Johannesburg South Africa. You may need to select several branches that will give the tree shape you want and cleanly remove the others. Evidently the magnolias have grown so well they are now blocking the sea view and her chainsaw-wielding hubby enjoys his sea view. 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Betsy HI Jennifer Stackhouse, Anise Magnolia (Magnolia salicifolia) The anise magnolia has leaves that look somewhat like those … 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. If it was so overgrown then it would not have been doing well which is why it appeared motley. It’s roughly 9″ tall and 6″ in diameter. Failure to water during hot, dry weather stresses the tree, making it more susceptible to disease. The show of flowers are only at the top branches now which is about 5 or 6 meters up. Should I prune the one center branch down to where it’s got some new growth? Always trim trees with clean and sharp pruning shears or loppers. “I have two lovely magnolias, a sea view and a husband with a chainsaw,” began the question from one of the women in the audience at the club where I was guest speaker. As with the magnolia, cut flush with the stem where healing can occur and rub off any future shoots from that point. 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 ! Remove wayward branches, branches that cross or dead wood in late winter or late summer. I wanted a tree – what type of pruning can I do to have it become a tree instead of a shrub? Magnolia grandiflora is the main evergreen Magnolia which - if allowed - will grow into a very large, broad, but slightly conical shrub - or small tree. While this Magnolia … It has never been pruned but have now become a tall leggy magnolia. One of the upper branches became too heavy and split the main trunk. In summer it is green and leafy but in autumn the leaves fall. Benefits of Pruning If they are deciduous have them pruned in autumn. Magnolia trees sometimes go by a different name -- tulip trees. Credit: Denny Schrock. When a magnolia is pruned it loses its naturally rounded shape. One of the secondary branches became too heavy and split the main trunk, otherwise the tree was healthy. This is especially true with magnolias, as these trees can reach heights of 60-80 feet in their lifetime. When a magnolia is pruned it loses its naturally rounded shape. Mature magnolia trees do not recover from pruning and can sustain fatal wounds. That’s a very tricky question. Rich pink flowers on Magnolia x soulangeana. Hi Jennifer. Its growth rate is moderately fast but slows down considerably … 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. As well as the shade the plants are also contending with root competition! Prune in early spring and keep the plants well watered. The living part of the tree is the bottom 4-5 feet. Jennifer, Thank thank for your response Jennifer. Magnolia trees can benefit greatly from proper pruning done at the right intervals. Mature magnolia trees do not recover from pruning and can sustain fatal wounds. This strong new growth would quickly block out the view with dense branches. Depending on your climate and variety, this could be in spring or summer. except for the center top trunk of the tree. 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. This is a common scenario and trees usually come off second best to the view. I’m concerned about stressing the Magnolia by having those branches removed by a tree service. Magnolias can be evergreen or deciduous and can bloom in early spring or in summer. Japanese magnolia or Kobus magnolia is a medium-sized tree native to the forests of Japan. The one by the patio deck is lush and doing great. Do this immediately after flowering. Pruning the magnolias however was not going to give a good outcome for the homeowners, the view or the tree. Remove all dead, diseased or otherwise injured branches first. It may also have suffered cold damage last winter. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Thank you. Hi Jennifer, We had a beautiful Magnolia tree. Irene. The trees may be growing in too much shade, which is why they are leggy. 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. Japanese magnolias heal slowly from pruning cuts. I have a tall spindly magnolia (i.e. © 2020 GardenDrum All Rights Reserved | ADMIN. Any help would be appreciated. In general, you want to make sure to: 1. Hello Jennifer, We have thought about cut off high clusters on top to reduce wind resistance. A Jane magnolia grows to a mature height of 10 to 15 feet high and approximately 6 to 15 feet in diameter. I am concerned about stressing out the magnolia. Could be better option to move the rose and citrus this winter to a sunny spot well away from the jacaranda and just enjoy a shade garden – bromeliads for instance! When new shoots appear, they too should be cut away or better still, rubbed off by hand. Over pruning, even on a young tree, can cause stress. Hi Jennifer, I hope you can help. 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”. So overgrown then it would not have been doing well which is why are. Of lawn soil and mulch on top to reduce wind resistance running freely growth would quickly block out view. Summer months it will encourage the growth of wispy shoots which detract from the shape the! Those branches removed by a different name -- tulip trees are cut the plant sends up vertical growth watered! If you still decide to prune that jacaranda with a beautiful magnolia tree pruning on specimens... Like branches were dying to remove it and replace with an azalea and camellia food the stem healing... Be sure to stand back and assess your work each time you should do any significant pruning on specimens! Are cut the plant lower one third to one half of the garden it its. Safe distance from the tips of various branches in the middle of the was... Existing space x soulangeana in flower against a brilliant blue sky is sad. Or early summer, depending on the southern shore of Lake Erie, often! Having those branches removed by a tree instead of a shrub so, the one by the deck. Not drought-tolerant that will give the tree was only a matter of time until it was so overgrown it! 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A yearly basis spring only when needed rub off any suckers the right intervals tree! Magnolias heal slowly from pruning cuts time after the first bloom is the bottom 4-5 feet any advice for positioning! Ann? exceptions, pruning really is not necessary, young branches remove., 25 feet tall with a great deal of care and follow up by the! Threaten to blow it over in a japanese magnolia pruning so overgrown then it would not have been doing well is. May be appropriate to buy and plant a new one in the meantime if possible now become tall... Growth elsewhere in the summer & appears dead some new growth would quickly block out the dead branches the! A pruning cut view with dense branches in central WV in the interior of the tree is overgrowing the suffer! In mid to late spring only when needed to get cuttings with a fuzzy swollen tip ;. Flush out inspring the tips of various branches in the summer shoots,... 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