The Q&A Archives: Pruning A Storm-damaged Magnolia

Question: I have two old flowering magnolia trees that sustained fairly extensive storm damage from a VERY wet, heavy snowstorm. Now that I've cleared the broken limbs from the ground beneath them, should I re-cut where the limbs broke, to 'clean up the wound'? I'd like to do what I can to avoid losing these beautiful trees.

Answer: It is a good idea to recut the broken limbs to make clean slices instead of jagged breaks. Make the cuts in the best possible location for future growth, similar to how one would try to place intentional pruning cuts, and avoid leaving stubs. It is no longer usually recommended to do anything special to the cuts, however. Since the trees are old and quite lovely, you might want to obtain assistance from a certified and trained arborist -- especially true if ladder work would be involved. I'm sorry about your trees.

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