Magnolias! Like dogwoods, these trees are a traditional part of Rochester’s landscapes. From the magnolia groves in Highland and Durand Eastman Parks to the urban and suburban specimens throughout the Greater Rochester area, magnolia blossom is a welcome sight in spring. Moreover, while dinosaurs ate them, deer rarely do making them a top deer resistant tree. While magnolias need little pruning, sometimes pruning magnolias ensures their health and vitality. So, read on to learn how to prune magnolia trees.
Magnolia Tree Pruning
Healthy magnolia trees won’t need much pruning. In fact, mature magnolias can be damaged by pruning. However, as with other young trees, pruning young magnolias can improve their health.
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3 Tips for Pruning Magnolias
As magnolias can be sensitive to pruning it is important to know three main things:
- why prune magnolias
- when to prune a magnolia
- how to prune a magnolia
Lastly, you need to know how to prune trees in general. So, check out our Guide to Pruning to learn about the tools and practices needed for safe and effective pruning.
1. Why Prune Magnolias
Firstly, why do you need to prune magnolias? While many flowering trees and shrubs benefit from annual pruning – such as lilacs – magnolias are different. Though many trees and shrubs benefit from annual pruning, do not prune magnolias routinely. In particular, mature magnolias respond to pruning with water sprouts. These vigorous shoots can rob your tree of nutrients and lead to poor health. Therefore, when pruning magnolias do so for three reasons:
- to shape young trees
- for size control
- for tree health
Shaping Young Trees
Older magnolia’s heal slowly. However, younger trees benefit from some pruning, especially to establish their shape. This should be done as soon as possible in your tree’s life. While keeping pruning to a minimum, do remove dead, damaged or rubbing limbs. Likewise, trim away stems that disrupt the overall shape.
Rejuvenating Older Trees
Mature magnolias are very sensitive to pruning. If overgrown, remove desired branches entirely, cutting all the way back to the main trunk or strong side limbs. This will help prevent water sprouts.
Keeping Trees Healthy
As with all pruning, your main goal is the tree’s health. Therefore, remove dead or damaged limbs every year. For older magnolias, this will likely be all the pruning you need to do.
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2. When to Prune Magnolias
Secondly, when to prune magnolias depends on the tree’s bloom time. On the one hand, spring-flowering magnolias set flower buds the previous summer. Therefore, prune them right after flowering. In this way, you don’t trim away next year’s buds! On the other hand, for late summer- and fall-blooming varieties the flower buds form during the current season. Thus, prune them in spring.
3. How to Prune Magnolias
Lastly, pruning magnolias follows the same guidelines for all pruning. Use clean sharp tools, make proper cuts and follow safety precautions at all times. For larger limbs or when working near power lines, contacting a professional is a wise choice.
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Tree Service Webster NY
Need more help or advice about your trees? Then, you might want to contact an arborist in Webster. Or, let Arbor Tree Experts know! Established in Webster in 1985 we are a fully licensed and insured tree service in Webster. We offer tree removal, tree pruning as well as stump grinding. Likewise, we can help you choose the best trees for your unique landscape. Contact us for a quote.