The Q&A Archives: Pruning A Flowering Magnolia Tree

Question: I have a flowering magnolia tree that I have to keep pruning because it was planted next to our lamp post. It grows so fast that I have to keep cutting it back, but now we don't get any flowers anymore. When and how ,should I be pruning to get back the pink flowers. The tree is about 20 years old..

Answer: This type of tree is not usually pruned except to remove dead wood or tidy up storm damage, so you may be causing it stress by the constant pruning. The deciduous magnolias bloom early in the spring on the previous year's growth, so any pruning would only be done in late spring after the bloom period to avoid removing the flowering wood. Since this will be an ongoing problem, it might be worth considering relocating the lamp or redesigning the lighting so you can stop pruning the tree.

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