Pruning: Does this Magnolia need help?

Discussion in 'Magnoliaceae' started by munn01, Jan 29, 2021.

  1. munn01

    munn01 New Member

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    I have a Little Gem Magnolia that was planted about 2 years ago, but had to be moved last summer about 10’ to make room for a shed. I was very careful to dig well below root level but of course it was impossible not to incur some root damage, although the center main roots were fairly intact.. Once moved it began flowering profusely. The issue now is the bare spot in the center and from what I have read, pruning is not an option. It is sprouting new shoots from the base, but the center is rather bare. We are in Central Florida and it's the dry season. Tree is watered well about once/every other week and fed 2x/year. Should I have patience and just let it do it's thing? Prune out the base sprouts to increase nutrient uptake to the top? Recommendations?

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  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    It's starting over from down low, presumably in response to the root cutting. It doesn't look like a situation where a long bare trunk is needed or even aesthetically desirable. Wait and see what the specimen does in coming years - either the replacement growth is going to catch up to the original top at some point or the original top is eventually going to deteriorate further and die. With the new part becoming the entire live top going forward.
     
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  3. munn01

    munn01 New Member

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    Thanks Ron. I had a feeling that would be the case, so I’ll just leave it alone, keep babying it and see what transpires. Thanks again for your quick reply.
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Looks like it is working on the tall narrow shape that the original seedling upon which the cultivar is based had. Whereas many propagules grow for years with a comparatively low habit. To the extent that it has been sold with the common name "dwarf magnolia", described as reaching only 20' tall (one a friend and I encountered at a plant outlet near Los Angeles we figured to be about 42').
     
  5. munn01

    munn01 New Member

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    So, should I trim out the new growth at the bottom, or leave it alone? There are several new heads at the base, one of which is growing quite profusely. It just tried to flower, but that seemed to fail.
     

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