Magnolia-stellata pruning question

Discussion in 'Magnoliaceae' started by Eglantinerosie, May 23, 2006.

  1. Eglantinerosie

    Eglantinerosie Member

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    Zionsville, Indiana

    We have a very large stellata magnolia that has grown very dense and thick. It hides the view of our large perennial flower beds. I have pruned it out at the bottom and am trying to shape it into a tree like form instead of the dense shrub look. Do I need to seal the cuts on the magnolia where I pruned? Several are very close to the main trunk.
    I would appreciate any help you might give me.
    Thank you and I am enjoying your wonderful site.
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    WA USA (Z8)
    What you need to do with a "very large" star magnolia is to not do any major pruning at all. If you have made cuts big enough to be thinking about pruning paint (I wouldn't use it, myself) then chances are you have pruned too much. If you are planning to retain a healthy and attractive star magnolia do not do any more significant alterations. Look at the borders from another viewpoint, move part of the borders, whatever you have to do to solve the problem without spoiling the tree (further?) or cut the tree down if it just won't work where it is. Most mature (developed) trees are mostly 'hands off' except for things like removal of dead branches, plus magnolias in particular do not appreciate major pruning cuts and may show their resentment by sprouting vigorous watersprouts or rotting out.

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