The Q&A Archives: magnolia - little gem

Question: I recently purchased two little gems, about 31/2' tall and 1' wide. I've planted them on the north side of my home where they will need to contend with wind and morning shade from the house. My concern is that I've planted them too close to the driveway - how soon will they hit mature height and can I prune them if they reach over the driveway? I've also placed them fairly close together - perhaps I should replant one further apart? (I wanted them to form a screen from the street and I've continued the screen with camellias the length of the driveway). Thanks much

Answer: Kelly,

Depending on soil and other growing conditions that plant will grow at a moderate rate reaching 20 to 25 feet high and 10 to 15 feet wide in about 8 years. You can prune it back to keep the width more narrow but if you do so just cut about 2 or 3 inches off the tips of the side shoots so you encourage more branching and don't leave that area bare and unattractive.

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