Pruning dwarf magnolia

Xerocles

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I just did a search on here and came up empty. Anybody know much about Dwarf magnolias?
I have one, planted by my Dad for my Mom 50/60 years ago. She LOVED that bush!
I have researched enough to learn to prune back after it stops blooming, as next years blooms come from this years growth. But. How much? At the base it's just over 3 ft diameter. With probably 40 individual "stems? Trunks?". Ranging in individual size from a pencil to about 1 1/2 ". Do I thin them out as part of pruning? Or leave them full?
Last season I trimmed it back to about 5' tall and opened it up somewhat for light and air but was cautious because I didn't know what I was doing. It has had NO care for the past 20 years.
Also...proper fertilizer? Standard 10-10-10?
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thistlebloom

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Pretty little tree!

1. Cut out any obviously dead "trunks". Cut as low as possible.
2. Cut out the oldest canes (trunks) but not more than one fourth of the volume of the shrub. You can tell the oldest by the thicker coarser bark.
3. You can tidy up any awkward untidy branches, like a few of those veering around at the base, but you don't really want to limb it up.
4. Fertilize in the fall 12-4-8

A general rule is that you can thin it by about one third. I don't know how quickly magnolias renew cane growth, so you probably don't need to do that every year. But if it starts looking congested again, take out the oldest canes to lighten it up and stimulate fresh ones.
Oh, and I don't think I'd lower the height unless there is reason to because the height interferes with something. The trouble with trimming the tops down on shrubs that grow in a vase shape with long canes is that you will get branching at the cuts and ruin the overall outline.

I think it's very cool that this was a favorite of your mom's.
 
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YourRabbitGirl

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I just did a search on here and came up empty. Anybody know much about Dwarf magnolias?
I have one, planted by my Dad for my Mom 50/60 years ago. She LOVED that bush!
I have researched enough to learn to prune back after it stops blooming, as next years blooms come from this years growth. But. How much? At the base it's just over 3 ft diameter. With probably 40 individual "stems? Trunks?". Ranging in individual size from a pencil to about 1 1/2 ". Do I thin them out as part of pruning? Or leave them full?
Last season I trimmed it back to about 5' tall and opened it up somewhat for light and air but was cautious because I didn't know what I was doing. It has had NO care for the past 20 years.
Also...proper fertilizer? Standard 10-10-10?
View attachment 34776t
It's possible to keep it small, but it's not that convenient, as you've discovered. Choose the form and prune towards the target. Seek pruning to encourage sideways growth and prevent upward growth. With a long-term strategy, you can keep your tree small and beautiful and still have flowers.
 

ducks4you

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I don't know if Mine is a dwarf. It is supposed to top out at 15 ft, at the most. I read that you prune them very little. If you have branches that cross, chose one to cut, one to leave. Don't cut MORE that 1/4 live wood every year.
Looks like yours Needs some pruning, but I would take about 3 years to get it done. The buds set in the Fall, so you might decide on branches that have more buds and leave those. My magnolia Jane isn't as crowded as yours. I cut off 4 low branches 2 years ago bc they were interfering with the mower, but, otherwise, I have left it alone.
Hope this helps!
 

YourRabbitGirl

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I just did a search on here and came up empty. Anybody know much about Dwarf magnolias?
I have one, planted by my Dad for my Mom 50/60 years ago. She LOVED that bush!
I have researched enough to learn to prune back after it stops blooming, as next years blooms come from this years growth. But. How much? At the base it's just over 3 ft diameter. With probably 40 individual "stems? Trunks?". Ranging in individual size from a pencil to about 1 1/2 ". Do I thin them out as part of pruning? Or leave them full?
Last season I trimmed it back to about 5' tall and opened it up somewhat for light and air but was cautious because I didn't know what I was doing. It has had NO care for the past 20 years.
Also...proper fertilizer? Standard 10-10-10?
View attachment 34776t
It's possible to keep it small, but it's not that convenient, as you've discovered. Choose the form and prune towards the target. Seek pruning to encourage sideways growth and prevent upward growth. With a long-term strategy, you can keep your tree small and beautiful and still have flowers.
 

majorcatfish

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It's possible to keep it small, but it's not that convenient, as you've discovered. Choose the form and prune towards the target. Seek pruning to encourage sideways growth and prevent upward growth. With a long-term strategy, you can keep your tree small and beautiful and still have flowers.
contact your local agi department if you help
 
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