Pruning is an excellent method for improving the wellbeing and aesthetics of a Magnolia tree. Numerous specialists recommend using sharp loppers or hand-pruning shears for the early stages of trimming. Typically, the initial cuts involve removing brittle or impaired branches. This entails the elimination of all fractured, deceased, or infected limbs.

Limbs that do not align with the tree’s natural and intended shape are normally next in line. Pruning professionals then remove suckers and crisscrossing limbs. The best way to prune magnolia trees is to cut the limbs off beyond the branch collar.

It is also advisable to only prune magnolia trees to a maximum limit of one-third each season. This aids them in achieving optimum growth and nutrition. A mature magnolia tree should however not be trimmed unless it is completely necessary.

Magnolia tree trimming   How, when & how much
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How to trim a magnolia tree?

Magnolia trimming tips

Prioritize Dead and Diseased Branches

Since you can only prune a magnolia tree up to 1/3 of its size, you should prioritize pruning dead and sick branches before cutting out the healthy but unattractive ones. Dead limbs are usually identified by their brittle, decolorized, and unproductive nature.

This remains constant even during the early spring blooming season. They should thus be pruned 1 inch away from the trunk using disinfected lopping shears. Sick branches are also easily recognizable through discolored foliage, a rotting bark, mildew infestation, and sagging.

Ensure the Season is Right

Magnolia trees often experience their first bloom between early spring and the end of summer. This is usually their recommended pruning time. This is because trimming at any other time usually interferes with their extent of blossoming during the next season.

Choose your Branches According to your Trimming Purpose

Magnolia trimming is done for risk management and growth control. Dead, dying, infected, and weak limbs are pruned first to reduce the risk of disease and death. Small branches on the lower part of the trunk are then pruned to prevent any excessive growth.

Prune Magnolia Trees Safely

Safety for the tree involves ensuring the tree is not left in a vulnerable state because of the pruning techniques applied. Branches should thus be trimmed off beyond the collar to prevent any bark damage that may cause trunk infections.

Pruning of Magnolia trees1 should also only be done lightly to help the trees produce more blooms in future seasons. Water sprouts which usually grow in areas where branches are cut off should equally be rubbed off.

Dry and sunny atmospheres in late spring and early summer present the best conditions for Magnolia pruning since they help to keep freshly cut wounds free from infection.

The person trimming the magnolia tree should also acquire the necessary gear which includes hand gloves, goggles, loppers, shears, and a ladder to keep himself safe. A professional arborist or tree expert can also be engaged especially if the tree has extensive issues.

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Differences Between Evergreen and Deciduous Magnolias?

Deciduous MagnoliasEvergreen Magnolias
Shed their leaves in WinterRetain their leaves in Winter
Best planted in AutumnBest planted in Spring
Can thrive in colder climatesThrive only in warmer climates
Grow faster and largerGrow slower and smaller
Harder to maintain Easier to maintain
Require more soil fertilityRequire less soil fertility
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