ID Magnolia, and when can I trim it?

Discussion in 'Magnoliaceae' started by camillia, Aug 19, 2006.

  1. camillia

    camillia Member

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    Portland, OR, USA
    We bought our house in January, and by our back deck was this dead-looking thing that turned out to be a lovely purple fragrant magnolia. I have a few questions about it, and photos are attached to assist in your answers:

    1. What kind of magnolia is this? It's decidious and has large, pretty lavender flowers. Lilifolia? Soulangeana? (sp) It flowered heavily before it got any leaves.
    2. It has flowered off and on since early spring, however the flower buds it is getting now don't seem to be opening. They turn brown and fall off so I don't really get to enjoy them. They opened fully in the spring, but not lately. Is this normal, or is something wrong? It has a northeast exposure and seems very happy otherwise.
    3. I read the post about pruning, and I don't want to prune it per se, however if you look at the photo of the trunk you'll see that it's getting new branches/sprouts down lower on the trunk, where I don't want them. When/how should I remove these? This little tree was very heavily cut back before we bought the house and seemed to rebound extremely well, however I'm hesitant to do anything to it myself for fear of permanently harming it. It was also planted extremely close to the house by whatever nitwit originally planted it, and it's too large to move, so at some point I'll need to cut it back just enough to keep it from getting in the gutters and rubbing on the siding.


    Attached Files:

  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    WA USA (Z8)
    Slender shoots and narrowish leaves implies one of the Kosar/DeVos hybrids from US National Arboretum, but any crossing of purple lily and yulan magnolia is a saucer magnolia--unnamed, unfamiliar seedlings that have less distinct characteristics than named cultivars could be pretty common. Would be easier to tell during main spring bloom.

    Trunks are sprouting vigorously because many lower branches pruned off earlier, making tree look leggy. If you wish to continue the gaunt appearance of the lower regions of the tree prune the replacement branches off any time.

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