The Q&A Archives: Magnolia Tree Too Tall

Question: I have a white magnolia that is pretty much close to the house so I trim the branches back on one side. My problem is that it is getting too tall and it blocks my view from my kitchen window to watch the kids. Can I trim off the top with hopes that it grows into a bushy/shorter tree or should I try to replant it elsewhere? When is the best time to trim it?

Answer: Without knowing which type of magnolia you have it is a bit difficult to make a suggestion, but I suspect it will continue to grow to at least 12 to 15 feet tall and probably at least two thirds that width, if not even larger. If this is too large for the location where you have it, then I would probably suggest moving it in either early spring or early fall. Keep in mind however that these trees tend to have brittle roots and can be difficult to transplant. Unfortunately, repeated trimming will cause it to grow even denser where you have cut, so that is unlikely to solve the problem. I fyou want to try trimming, it is better to trim it in late spring or early summer after it has bloomed.

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