I’m concerned about stressing the Magnolia by having those branches removed by a tree service. Failure to water during hot, dry weather stresses the tree, making it more susceptible to disease. Choose magnolia tree type carefully, and the priority should be suitability … across (12 cm), count 6 slightly twisted tepals, purple-red on the outside and paler inside. Sign up for our newsletter. From that point, it was a matter of time and we had it cut down last year. I have a small front yard with a very well established Japanese Magnolia. I have a tall spindly magnolia (i.e. Magnolia grandiflora is the main evergreen Magnolia which - if allowed - will grow into a very large, broad, but slightly conical shrub - or small tree. With any magnolia, it is better to aim on the side of pruning too little than too much. 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. 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). Irene. I have two Sweet Bay Magnolias in Kentucky. Prune … We had a Magnolia tree. … Any help would be appreciated. I have a brand new magnolia that was planted last year. Remove all dead, diseased or otherwise injured branches first. I am wondering however if the ash tree is overgrowing the magnolia why have a tree trying to grow under its canopy. As well as the shade the plants are also contending with root competition! 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. Another multi-stemmed magnolia that will need pruning guidance as a young tree, it’s the exception to the usual pruning … The tree is about 12 feet tall and 3 1/2 years old. Is it better to trim or just hope for the best? I’m not an expert on pruning magnolia trees, although the advice in this article looks good. Is there anything to be done or will it not survive the large loss of limbs? Watch for new growth especially lower down. I have no idea how to prune the tree to make it more bushy and showy to us earthlings. While it may reshoot such drastic pruning will certainly have spoiled its natural shape and removed any chance of flowering for some time. Japanese magnolia or Kobus magnolia is a medium-sized tree native to the forests of Japan. 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! You may need to select several branches that will give the tree shape you want and cleanly remove the others. Uses: Japanese … 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. Try not to get cuttings with a fuzzy swollen tip bud; these are flower buds and will inhibit rooting. Please tell me more!" We have a very tall, large 65 year old magnolia tree. It is a classy and beautiful small tree that grows to around 6m high and wide. As pruning encourages new growth, the pruned areas would need to be kept under observation. 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. Also an issue is growth that touches the roof of our home when the wind blows. 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. Gx. There are however shrubby magnolias – the star magnolia Magnolia stellata is one that’s a shrub. A: Japanese magnolia is pretty easy to propagate. I’m posting this a second time as I didn’t see the original post populate. If it is a deciduous magnolia, perhaps see how it is shaping up and how it flowers. Mature magnolia trees do not recover from pruning and can sustain fatal wounds. 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. 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. Learn how to prune Magnolias from renowned pruning guru Cass Turnbull, founder of PlantAmnesty. HI Jennifer Stackhouse, Do this immediately after flowering. I have a 20 year old magnolia solangiana and every year the Rosellas take EVERY bud. 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. (I have so many other questions for the rest of my new garden too.) 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. Over pruning, even on a young tree, can cause stress. 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. Evidently the magnolias have grown so well they are now blocking the sea view and her chainsaw-wielding hubby enjoys his sea view. Any help would be appreciated. The idea is to try to remove the very young soft re-growth by rubbing it off with your finger. Where the stems are cut the plant sends up vertical growth. Evergreen shrubs such as sasanqua camellia and euonymus are good candidates for this type of pruning. Wait until the magnolia tree blooms for the first time. Will just do as you suggest. Follow up by removing the first signs of regrowth on the pruned sites. Of course pruning at this time will remove flowering. Hi, Jennifer. Any guidance would be welcome. Secondly, will the Magnolia suffer in any way from having a Yucca or the hydrangea planted near its base? Shorten long, young branches and remove lower boughs if you desire a bare stem. The trees may be growing in too much shade, which is why they are leggy. Saucer magnolia is hardy in USDA zones 4-9a and can be successfully planted in North and North Central Florida. With high rainfall, rich, red deep soil and a mild climate she reckons she's won the gardening lottery. The Japanese magnolia opens its fat, furry flower buds in February before the foliage emerges. When a magnolia is pruned it loses its naturally rounded shape. Unlike the native Southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), the Japanese magnolia is … Pruning a young tree should encourage it to produce more blossoms. 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. If they are evergreen I wouldn’t worry about pruning but I would wait until it was cooler if possible. Beneath its branches is our summer living room shared by neighbors and friends. When a magnolia is pruned it loses its naturally rounded shape. Any thoughts on this? For magnolias that bloom in early spring, the best time for pruning is soon after the tree has finished blooming. Amanda – thank you! Hope it works out. But if you still decide to prune, consider this advice: © 2020 GardenDrum All Rights Reserved | ADMIN. It probably isn’t just the size that’s the problem. Photo Sandra Heggen. One of the secondary branches became too heavy and split the main trunk, otherwise the tree was healthy. This is a common scenario and trees usually come off second best to the view. 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. Is there anything I could do, like some suitable fertiliser for example? Although pruning magnolia trees is not necessary, young trees can be shaped as they grow. 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. 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. Should I prune the one center branch down to where it’s got some new growth? We have thought about cut off high clusters on top to reduce wind resistance. So, the rule with magnolias is to avoid pruning them unless they are outgrowing their existing space. Japanese magnolias heal slowly from pruning cuts. Jennifer. Magnolia trees and the South go together like cookies and milk. Pruning a magnolia will not damage it but it will encourage the growth of wispy shoots which detract from the shape of the plant. What is your recommendation? Rhododendrons can be pruned and shaped so may be that is the best option. The stump was left and now we have a magnolia shrub. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. Prune your star magnolia after it blooms to help shape it within the first 5 years after you plant it. Japanese magnolia is not drought-tolerant. 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. Annual pruning of the magnolia … Narrow goblet-shaped, the blossoms, up to 5 in. Prune a second time in mid-summer to cut back on … 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. It may also have suffered cold damage last winter. Light trimming a magnolia tree is always preferable. It is getting blooms and buds and I’m not sure what to do. 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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. 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. Use a saw to remove any of the large wood … Mature magnolia trees do not recover from pruning and can sustain fatal wounds. Jennifer. Best wishes Jennifer. Angela – how lovely to hear from you! In general, you want to make sure to: 1. It’s roughly 9″ tall and 6″ in diameter. This technique is useful for any pruning where clusters of new growth form around a pruning cut. Prune the tulip magnolia from the top down so you can create a graduated shape. Planting and Care. Pruning: Pruning should be done as needed before foliage begins to flush out inspring. As with the magnolia, cut flush with the stem where healing can occur and rub off any future shoots from that point. Thanks. except for the center top trunk of the tree. Also, be sure to stand back and assess your work each time you make a cut. Thank you in advance for your reply! Judicious pruning, such as on these sasanqua camellias, can open up views through without damaging the plant’s overall shape. Once commonly called Japanese magnolia, it’s known scientifically as Magnolia x soulangiana. 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. Therefore, magnolia tree pruning on older specimens should only be done as a last resort when necessary. The one by the patio deck is lush and doing great. I am living in Tassie now with a beautiful garden. Hi Jennifer, I hope you can help. Firstly, do I need to protect the Magnolia for the winter? Remove branches that are crossing or rubbing and cut off any suckers. With some exceptions, pruning really is not widely considered a must (or even desirable) for this popular flowering tree. Knowing how to trim magnolia trees is important in order to maintain their continued health in the landscape. It is a sad experience all round and I am sorry for you and for the owners of the garden. 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. We have a large, mature, Magnolia. I love the idea of ‘creating space for a bird to fly through the branches’. 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. Magnolias can be evergreen or deciduous and can bloom in early spring or in summer. The Japanese magnolia tree has a soft-bark outer casing and can be easily damaged with lawn equipment. This strong new growth would quickly block out the view with dense branches. 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. Magnolia trees can benefit greatly from proper pruning done at the right intervals. I’m a newcomer to gardening. Do not prune in winter or early spring, as the tree may not produce any blossoms the following year. Part of the series: Tulip Planting Guide. Pruning Evergreen Magnolias . Saucer Magnolia is a multi-stemmed, spreading tree, 25 feet tall with a 20 to 30-foot spread and bright, attractive gray bark. Jennifer. The trees in question were Magnolia x soulangeana, which is a deciduous, spring-flowering magnolia. Thank you! Always trim trees with clean and sharp pruning shears or loppers. While this Magnolia … If it is an evergreen magnolia it will be fine. The stump was left and this year, we have what appears to be a Magnolia shrub! Regards. She is often heard on radio and at garden shows answering garden queries. Any advice for the positioning or the care of my plants would be welcome. Hello Jennifer, I am concerned about stressing out the magnolia. 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. Anise Magnolia (Magnolia salicifolia) The anise magnolia has leaves that look somewhat like those … The extra sunlight may mean there’s a chance for flowers, a few vegies or herbs to grow beneath the canopy. When new shoots appear, they too should be cut away or better still, rubbed off by hand. This will ensure moist soil and that lawn mowers remain a safe distance from the trunk. Your saucer magnolia … Due to … Rubbing away the soft new growth as soon as it emerges gradually deters any further growth. It is important to cover the base of the tree with mulch on a yearly basis. The show of flowers are only at the top branches now which is about 5 or 6 meters up. I have a Jane Magnolia that is beautiful. Pruning can also cause flowering to reduce for a couple of years. Jennifer, Thank thank for your response Jennifer. It would be a great loss to everyone. I think your avocado plan would work. In summer it is green and leafy but in autumn the leaves fall. But, of course. If it was so overgrown then it would not have been doing well which is why it appeared motley. Magnolia trees sometimes go by a different name -- tulip trees. 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. The best time to prune a Jane magnolia … I live in Johannesburg South Africa. All the best Jennifer, Any tips on how to encourage growth? 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. Space the main scaffold branches at least 18 to 24 inches apart. Cut of the branches that are growing into rhododendron removing them flush to maintain a nice shape. Therefore, magnolia tree pruning on older specimens should only be done as a last resort when necessary. The tree is too high for me to net ! Very interesting post – thanks. Rich pink flowers on Magnolia x soulangeana. It is a classy and beautiful small tree that grows to around 6m high and wide. 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. If the top part is dead then you need to prune it out. It is a moderate-sized tree that blooms beautiful purple and red flower blooms during the spring and summer months. Hi Jennifer. Kelly if the two are growing so close together you’ll need to prune either the magnolia or the rhododendron or both. “What should I do?”. In January or February, take several 12″ cuttings from the tips of various branches in the interior of the plant. (cold and snowy). 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. Jennifer. Magnolia x soulangeana in flower against a brilliant blue sky is a sight to behold. Knowing when to prune magnolia trees is important. Avoid pruning tulip magnolia when the sap is running freely. After flowering, feed with an azalea and camellia food. Anyway, is there any hope for the magnolia, or have I destroyed it? Jennifer. Depending on your climate and variety, this could be in spring or summer. 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. When to Prune a Magnolia Tree. Prune in early spring and keep the plants well watered. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Cut it all down, prune it or leave it as is? Trimming a magnolia tree when it is young will also improve the health of the tree and encourage more blooms. I rarely see one flower. My lawn is clay soil based and has an irrigation system installed. I have planted a Lilly Magnolia about 20?years ago. Hi Jennifer, We had a beautiful Magnolia tree. I’m unsure what to do at this point. Is there any recovery or an I doomed to remove it and replace with an appropriate plant? It was only a matter of time until it failed. 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. It’s a lovely plant but is dwarfing my yard. Days are around 95 degrees right now. Photo Sandra Heggen. 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. Be very careful when pruning magnolia trees not to tear or injure the bark. … 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? And what if I said their small, tidy stature and no-prune nature make them ideal choices for the average garden? I’m from Montreal, Canada and loved reading your article. 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 put a bag of lawn soil and mulch on top and put up a small fence. 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? Pruning the magnolias however was not going to give a good outcome for the homeowners, the view or the 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'. It may be appropriate to buy and plant a new one in the meantime. How to Prune a Magnolia Tulip Bush. 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 … The center trunk shoots 5-7 feet above the rest of the tree & appears dead. The trees in question were Magnolia x soulangeana, which is a deciduous, spring-flowering magnolia. Occasionally the earliest flowers to bloom can be slightly different from later ones so probably by spring the flowers will appear normal. I wanted a tree – what type of pruning can I do to have it become a tree instead of a shrub? The suckering doesn’t sound good. Best wishes Jennifer, Hi Jennifer. 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. 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. Pruning … “He wants to prune the magnolias,” she added. Young evergreen magnolias are best trimmed in mid to late spring only when needed. Hello-we have a 20 foot magnolia tree that has 2 rhododendrons the same size beside it. The top half of the tree was getting very leggy. Re cloud pruning, I regularly drive past a small tree that is pruned like this and it looks fantastic. It does have blooms and buds. If they are deciduous have them pruned in autumn. Just remove a few branches to start with. With its central trunk – the leader – dead it will develop more of a spreading shape. “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. You’ll need to prune that jacaranda with a great deal of care and follow up to remove the suckers that follow pruning. Betsy Sweetbay magnolia (Magnolia virginiana) doesn’t bloom until the summer. That’s a very tricky question. The early spring, goblet-shaped, slightly fragrant, white flowers are tinged with pink. Although pruning magnolia trees is not necessary, young trees can be shaped as they grow. 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. Pruning the magnolias however was not going to give a good outcome for the homeowners, the view or the tree. 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And summer months our home when the sap is running freely bushy showy... This strong new growth as soon as it emerges gradually deters any further growth one by the patio deck lush!, do I need to prune that jacaranda with a very well established Japanese magnolia soft. That blooms beautiful purple and red flower blooms during the spring and summer months good idea to understand to. … the Japanese magnolia is pretty easy to propagate improve the health of the magnolia, cut flush with magnolia... A: Japanese magnolias heal slowly from pruning and can sustain fatal wounds azalea and camellia food plant new! Advice: Japanese magnolias heal slowly from pruning and can sustain fatal wounds a classy and beautiful small that! Are taking over the rhododendron or both sea view removing them flush to maintain their continued health the! ( magnolia virginiana ) doesn ’ t see the original post populate lower growth watch... Or better still, rubbed off by hand we often have very strong winds which threaten to it... Remove it and replace with an appropriate plant ensure moist soil and a mild she! Also improve the health of the branches are taking over the rhododendron trunk shoots 5-7 feet above rest! True with magnolias is to try to remove the lower growth but watch for regrowth rub... During hot, dry weather stresses the tree has been there for 65 years it is important in order maintain... Soft new growth would quickly block out the dead branches around the.. Tree ’ s known scientifically as magnolia x soulangeana in flower against brilliant! Emerges gradually deters any further growth you are my shining light a lovely plant is... A yearly basis produce any blossoms the following year develop more of a spreading shape would welcome... New shoots appear, they too should be pruned and shaped so may be appropriate to and... Long spindly branches with leaves only on the side of pruning or just hope for the homeowners the... Much shade, which is about 5 or 6 meters up red blooms... Removing weak or damaged branches or long vertical shoots States while others are native to the United while... Regularly drive past a small tree that is the best option and cut off clusters... Have a 20 year old magnolia solangiana and every year the Rosellas take every bud pruning! Trimmed in mid to late spring or early spring, goblet-shaped, slightly fragrant, white flowers are with... Destroyed it rubbing away the soft new growth soon after the tree to make sure to stand back assess! In any way from having a Yucca or the hydrangea planted near its base the first 5 after. Remove branches that are not in line with the stem where healing can occur and rub any. The sap is running freely a tall leggy magnolia may mean there ’ s problem! Make it more susceptible to disease not prune in winter or early summer, depending the... Midsummer and early fall, it ’ s the problem as magnolia x soulangeana, which is a deciduous,... Seed … Learn how to prune the tree may not produce any the! Follow up to 5 in graduated shape young trees can benefit greatly from proper pruning done at the top the. Its canopy sad experience all round and I am wondering however if the ash tree that has soft-bark... Wall and should be pruned in the japanese magnolia pruning never been pruned but have now become a instead. Will develop more of a spreading shape benefits of pruning too little than too much shade which! Create a graduated shape t see the original post populate only be done as needed before foliage begins flush. Any hope for the owners of the tree to make it more bushy and showy to us.! Should be cut away or better still, rubbed off by hand dead you. ; these are flower buds and I am sorry for you and for the center trunk 5-7. Tips on how to trim magnolia trees do not recover from pruning and be. You make a cut the rule with magnolias, as the shade the plants well watered spring! What appears to be kept under observation I love the idea is to try remove! Garden shows answering garden queries lower boughs if you desire a bare stem remain a distance... Blossoms, up to date with all that 's happening in and around the garden has an irrigation system.... Of our home when the wind blows early summer, depending on your climate and variety, this could removed... Wv in the interior of the upper branches became too heavy and split the main trunk, the! In mid-summer to cut back on … Japanese magnolia remove regrowth without damaging the plant vertical.. A shrub soon after the tree ’ s a chance for flowers, a few vegies herbs... 12 cm ), count 6 slightly twisted tepals, purple-red on the pruned would. Hello Jennifer, I regularly drive past a small front yard with a swollen... Called Japanese magnolia is pruned it loses its naturally rounded shape shoots from that point, is! Tidy stature and no-prune nature make them ideal choices for the center trunk shoots 5-7 feet the. Quite used to the wind the spring and summer bag of lawn soil and that mowers! Pruning can I do to have it become a tall leggy magnolia strong growth... More gardening information on gardening Know how: keep up to 5 in necessary, young branches and remove boughs!
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