The Q&A Archives: Yellow Bird Magnolia

Question: Can I have a qualified arborist keep this tree trimmed to a more modest height rather than its usual size? I really like the color, but need a smaller tree.

Answer: Yellow Bird isn't a massive, sprawling tree, but rather a neat, upright specimen about 8-12 feet high and 15 feet wide at maturity. (Expect it to take 10 to 15 years to reach full size.) It is known for its consistency of bloom and for the deep, rich color of its flowers. Magnolias generally don't need a lot of pruning, but if you understand their growth habit they may be modified to fit a smaller growing space than they would normally require. The overall size of a magnolia can be limited by annual pruning immediately after blooming. As long as the twiggy flowering wood is left and the long shoots and any dead wood is removed, the flower display will be maintained and you'll have a compact tree.

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