Magnolia grandiflora, also known as Southern magnolia, is native to the U.S. Southern states. This large broadleaved evergreen can grow from 60 to 80 feet tall with a 30- to 40-foot-wide spread. Large, showy flowers, 8 to 12 inches wide, bloom in the summer and fade to bright red seeds in the fall. The Southern magnolia needs little pruning to keep it healthy. However, cutting back the tree keeps its growth in check if it is overgrowing its bounds in your yard.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Pruning shears
- Pruning saw
- Pruning loppers
Remove all of the dead, diseased and damaged branches from the Magnolia grandiflora as they occur throughout the year. Cut back the branches to the tree's trunk.Use the pruning saw for branches larger than 3 inches in diameter and the pruning loppers for branches smaller than 3 inches in diameter.
Prune any weak or spindly branches from the Southern magnolia tree with the pruning shears. Cut the branches off at the trunk of the tree.
Cut back any overgrown branches on the Southern magnolia. Cut the branches back to within the confines of the rest of the tree. Cut the branch off right before the bud union with the pruning shears or the pruning loppers.
Tips and warnings
- Prune the Southern magnolia in early to mid summer after it finishes flowering.
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- University of Florida; Magnolia grandiflora: Southern Magnolia; Edward F. Gilman and Dennis G. Watson
- North Carolina State University: Magnolia grandiflora
- Aggie Horticulture; Follow Proper Pruning Techniques; Douglas F. Welsh
- University of Kentucy; Pruning Landscape Trees; M.L. Witt, R.E. McNiel, and W.M. Fountain