Magnolia trees and the South go together like milk and cookies. There are over 75 species of magnolias. Magnolias can be deciduous or evergreen, blooming in summer or early spring. Knowing how to prune a magnolia tree is crucial to maintaining their health in their outdoor space.
Magnolia Tree Pruning
Though pruning magnolia trees isn’t needed, youthful trees can be formed as they flourish. Pruning a magnolia tree when it is new enhances the tree’s health and entice more blooms. Older magnolia trees don’t recover from trimming. Therefore, trimming older magnolia trees must only be performed as a last resort when needed.
When to Prune
Knowing when to prune magnolia trees is vital. Young evergreen magnolias are best pruned in mid to late spring, but only when necessary. Shorten young, long limbs and get rid of lower boughs if you want a clean stem. Some magnolia evergreens are attached to a wall and must be pruned in the summer.
Young deciduous magnolias necessitate pruning apart from getting rid of damaged, weak branches or long vertical shoots. Deciduous magnolias must be trimmed between early fall and midsummer. Over pruning, even on a young tree, creates stress. With any magnolia, it is best to aim on the side of trimming too little than too much. Slightly trimming a magnolia tree is better.
How to Prune a Magnolia Tree
When you want to prune, it’s a solid idea to know how to trim magnolia trees. Always prune trees with sharp, clean pruning shears. Be very cautious when trimming magnolia trees not to injure or rip the bark. Remove all diseased, dead or otherwise damaged branches first. Get rid of any limbs that aren’t in line with the tree’s usual shape. Eliminate limbs that are crossing, cutting off, or rubbing any suckers.
Also, be sure to stand back and inspect your work every time you perform a cut. Remember to always slice limbs off just outside of a branch collar, never taking off more than 1/3 of the tree every season. Avoid trimming a mature magnolia unless really needed.
If you want to have a York Tree Care Arborist evaluate your magnolia, contact us today!