Trees and Shrubs forum: Trim Tulip Magnoila Tree?

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Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Mar 1, 2014 8:57 PM CST
We have a young Tulip Magnolia tree. This has been growing for about 5 years. It is approx 7 feet tall. I don't know a lot about trimming trees or even if it needs it Does it grow with multi-trunks like a Crepe Myrtle? Here is the tree. Not a real good pic of the base but maybe you can get the idea? Hints" Suggestions?

Thumb of 2014-03-02/ShadyGreenThumb/f3252e

Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
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Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Mar 5, 2014 7:41 AM CST
Nobody wants to give it a shot??
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: John Chapin
Danville, IN (Zone 6a)
HoosierGardener
Mar 5, 2014 12:47 PM CST
It will have multiple trunks, usually, and it looks like yours does. I like them that way. You can train it to a single trunk, but the blossom display wouldn't be as full and nice. It will naturally grow as a shrubby tree.

Your magnolia looks to be star magnolia cultivar which will grow to about 15-20' tall with a spread of 10'. If it's a saucer magnolia aka "tulip magnolia", it will grow 30' or more withe a similar spread.

Enjoy it!
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Mar 15, 2014 7:38 PM CST
Picture those three major "trunks" as they grow wider in girth..... not a pretty picture in my opinion.
The center one and the one to the right will almost want to fuse together.
The center one and the one to the left, are they crossing? If they are going to rub each other as they get larger, that's not a good thing.

Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
ShadyGreenThumb
Mar 15, 2014 8:10 PM CST
Thanks, Rick @Leftwood. Leaving it alone is the easy way. But I always felt something must be done in order for the tree to grow up pretty. This is the perfect time of year for trimming since the blooms are long gone and it has just started to leaf out. I am not sure which branches you are speaking about exactly. I know my picture is not a good one. I will get another shot of it tomorrow and maybe, if you don't mind you can walk me through it? TIA
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
ShadyGreenThumb
Mar 19, 2014 2:04 PM CST
HI Rick@Leftwood,
Forgive my tardiness with the photo. I got hit pretty bad with sinus/infection and bronchitis. I finally took the picture yesterday. Otherwise, I have been steering clear of all the pollen that has blanketed the city. I took pictures of many views of the tree and then colored the branches. My stylus is fat and clumsy and so am I! Sorry. I hope this helps you to direct me with which branches to cut. I am a newbb at this and will take your word as gold since I know something must be done. I just don't know what. Here goes:

The tree, view 1:

Thumb of 2014-03-19/ShadyGreenThumb/cb4f91
Thumb of 2014-03-19/ShadyGreenThumb/9c32a3

The tree, view 2

Thumb of 2014-03-19/ShadyGreenThumb/08130b
Thumb of 2014-03-19/ShadyGreenThumb/b205b1

Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Mar 19, 2014 7:21 PM CST
Wow, Cheryl, thanks for that. I never would have known from just one angle, the true shape of the branches. Very helpful!

The easiest way to trim this quite messy branched plant is into a small tree. Blossom will be just as nice, but as HoosierGardener says, display won't be as flattering since most of the blooms will be chest level and above. If you do this, you would take one or two major branches out (right to the central trunk) a year, until only branch #4 (the straight blue one) is left.

Alternatively for more of a bush form, I first need to clarify:
- To me, the green branch in the second pic, looks like it would be the red one in the third pic. Is this true?

Either way, don't worry about the ugliness of the base with all that knobbiness. That will naturally disappear as the tree grows.

Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
ShadyGreenThumb
Mar 19, 2014 8:00 PM CST
Thanks, Rick. I have seen Star Magnolias as small trees and they are lovely. There is a Japanese Magnolia down the street that has both leaves and flowers on it right now. A real Looker! There is plenty of landscaping below, tall, leafy flowers , like crinum and amaryllis that would support the look of a tree trunk. Also the area would look nice with a bush or a small tree. So I vote for a tree. There are just so many branches that have crossed. And to think I bought it that way! I'll get my saw out and see what I can create.

As far as the drawing, you may very well be right about the red being green or vice versa. I got a little confused. I was also working from my tiny phone screen, too. Those two views are the views anyone might look at the tree from. For the most part, it is views from the sides as the small trail in front of it is so close, you don't get a good look from that angle.

Thanks so much for your help!
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.

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