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Overgrown magnolia

Discussion in 'NEW Gardeners !' started by jezzwhizz, Jul 11, 2018.

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  1. jezzwhizz

    jezzwhizz Apprentice Gardener

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    I've just moved to a new cottage (Magnolia Cottage) and I have two magnolia trees growing against the walls. When do I prune these? How do I prune these? Can I cut them with a hedge trimmer as you would cutting a hedge?


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  2. Irmemac

    Irmemac Total Gardener

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    Hello and :sign0016:, @jezzwhizz. I'm sorry I can't help you, but what a beautiful cottage! I hope you will be very happy there, and I also know you will get good advice on here.
     
  3. Tetters

    Tetters Total Gardener

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    :sign0016: @jezzwhizz . I think I would be a bit worried about the trees being so close to the building. The roots travel a long way and could interfere with pipes and footings :thinking:
     
  4. pete

    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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    To me, not a magnolia grower that is a tricky one.
    Did they flower well this spring, do you know the species/variety?
     
  5. Verdun

    Verdun Passionate gardener

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    I would seeiously consider removing them Jezzwhizz :)
    For me, it would be a worry.
    Magnolia roots can be very robust and aggressive. I dont grow magnolias but they make huge specimens down here...huge roots as well as canopy
     
  6. redstar

    redstar Total Gardener

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    have 4 magnolia's . Steps in pruning. First look at the branches and see which one crosses on another and cut off the one that is going an undesired direction. 2nd step, cut off all branches that are going straight up to heaven. 3rd step, cut off all branches from the ground up to about 4 foot of the tree. now step back. step five, as your stepping back look at the form of the tree, see where you want to nip some branches for a better form. Step 6 now that it is smaller, if your able to dig the whole thing out and move it, you have less. but if it looks decent leave it till next year. Me after all that stress, I 'd wait a year then move it if that still is the answer. as it looks full in the picture, it may be better with a good pruning and look ok.
     
  7. Tetters

    Tetters Total Gardener

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    :scratch: they look far too big to think of moving them, and I imagine the roots are underneath the house already.
     
  8. shiney

    shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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    It really depends on how old your house is and how solid the foundations are. A Magnolia is not necessarily a problem but I'd be inclined to check it out. Did your surveyor comment on it?

    It's not unusual to have wall trained Magnolias but it can be a bit of a problem with pruning some that have got out of hand.

    You obviously need to cut it back from the windows and I would be inclined to cut it below the guttering. Heavy pruning usually results in the production of water shoots (long straight branches that grow straight upwards) and you can get some of the other branches nearby dying back a bit.

    I'd be inclined to cut it away from the windows first - you need more light. Then, maybe in the first year, just remove some of the upward growing stems down to just below the guttering. Then next year cut the rest below the guttering. Hopefully this wouldn't stress the trees too much.

    The best time to prune is from now until early Autumn.

    Good luck with it :dbgrtmb:

    Here's a bit of advice about roots from the Royal Horticultural Society. :)

    Trees near buildings/RHS Gardening
     
  9. silu

    silu gardening easy...hmmm

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    I have 3 Magnolia Stellata, you know the ones that grow quite small....wrong. God only knows what root stock was used on them if they are grafted but they have grown really much much bigger than expected and are beginning to outgrow their allotted spaces. I meant to prune them post flowering but was so busy doing other things I forgot. Can I still prune now and not loose next years flowers? @shiney I presumed I should have pruned immediately after flowering in April. Certainly I found they don't like being moved much. I moved 1 of my 3 a couple of years ago. Despite being really careful and keeping it well watered it sulked for a year and has only now started to perk up. It is a good 3 ft overall smaller than the other 2 which haven't been moved.
     
  10. shiney

    shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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    Hi @silu

    No, don't prune after flowering :rolleyespink:. During the Spring the wounds will 'bleed'. Heavy pruning is not recommended at any time as the tree can sulk for a few years but do it in the summer . Although tough trees they're very susceptible to damage from over pruning, so it's best to spread the pruning over a few years.

    Aim to get a more open look to the tree. This helps to promote flowering and prevent diseases (they don't suffer much in the way of disease). After pruning you may get these water shoots and they can be pruned right back - they tend to grow on the branches like suckers grow from the bottom of other trees.
     
  11. redstar

    redstar Total Gardener

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    I agree @Tetters , but someone or the initial person talked about it. so left that door open, for "if" they still considered "after" the pruning.
     
  12. Verdun

    Verdun Passionate gardener

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    I know of a couple who own a double cottage swamped with a massive wisteria. Looks wonderful in spring. They also have a woodland setting there with lots of big shrubs and trees extremely close to them.

    The floors are cracking, flooding is regular and I wonder what I would do if in their position.

    Removal of these big plants could cause other problems but they already are causing damage.

    In comparison the magnolias in jezzwhizz's garden are nearer and seemingly bigger than those I have already described.....!!! :noidea:
     

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