The Q&A Archives: Hard Pruning My Dwarf Magnolia Tree

Question: My Dwarf Magnolia Tree has grown too large for its space in the front of the house. How much height may I take off the tree? I'd like to take 25% of it's height. Help!

Answer: Wintertime, when the tree is dormant, is the best time to prune magnolias. Hard pruning can set your tree back and slow or stop growth and flowering for several years. Usually you can remove about a third of the live material without harming a tree, but that depends upon the health of the tree. I think I would take a more cautious approach and plan on reducing the size of the tree over 2-3 winter pruning sessions. Good luck with your project!

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