How to trim a magnolia tree

Written by julie richards Google
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How to trim a magnolia tree
Occasional trimming keeps your magnolia tree blooming. (nailiaschwarz/iStock/Getty Images)

A magnolia tree is a beautiful tree with colourful pink and white blossoms adding to this beauty. The scent permeates the air when a magnolia tree is in full bloom. If your magnolia gets too large for its plot, then you might want to move it to another part of the garden instead of cutting it back heavily. However, moderate trimming and pruning can help keep the magnolia tree healthy.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Small hand saw
  • Pruning shears or secateurs

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  1. 1

    Trim only during the winter months when the tree is dormant. Less damage is caused to the magnolia tree when you trim it at this time of the year.

  2. 2

    Cut the branches back to the trunk or base of the magnolia tree. You can endanger the tree by hacking off sections here and there. The entire branch should be trimmed back when pruning a magnolia.

  3. 3

    Use precision when you trim the magnolia tree. You should never trim the entire magnolia tree all at once. Trim only about a third of the tree each season. You can trim more from the magnolia tree the following season. This allows the tree to recover from the pruning process. By alternating the branches that you cut off, you can ensure the tree still has a surplus of blooms during the spring.

  4. 4

    Trim large branches with the hand saw, cutting the tree limb off as close to the trunk as possible. Use a tree wound sealant to stop the tree from seeping sap and to protect it from fungal diseases.

  5. 5

    Use the pruning shears or secateurs on smaller branches and twig. You still need to cut these smaller magnolia branches close to the trunk of the tree and, again, use a wound sealant to prevent sap seepage and fungal infections.

Tips and warnings

  • Trim alternating branches to thin the tree out and let light into the canopy.
  • Trimming any tree when the sap is still running can cause the tree to go into shock. Avoid trimming during late summer, because this can stop the tree from hardening off for the winter.

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