New house addition crowds deciduous magnolia :: prune it?? (photos)

Discussion in 'Magnoliaceae' started by Ginger O, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. Ginger O

    Ginger O Member

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    Bellingham, WA
    We added onto our house (Bellingham, WA) 18 months ago so that our deciduous magnolia (I believe it is a 'Rubra'), which once had a lovely space to expand into, is now within a foot of a small deck and already beginning to block passage of the patio (gravel now, but patio-to-be). The magnolia is 13 to 15 years old, and is about 10 feet tall with the same spread. It is a lovely specimen, which seemed to have had very steady slow growth until the last 2 years when it seems to have zoomed (estimate: grown by a third in the last 2 yrs). From the Western Garden book description, it appears it could spread another 10 feet, which we can't afford. From other magnolia pruning questions on this list, it appears that no one thinks pruning deciduous magnolias is a good idea, but it's simply no longer in an ideal location and is definitely becoming a liability. It also sits directly in front of half of the new French doors, essentially blocking the rest of our very lush garden from view, although it's gorgeous when blooming and lovely to look at on its own...but there are these placement issues...

    So here are the questions:

    * Should we prune the branches that are blocking/closing in on the deck? If so, how best to prune? Remove branches entirely or shear back?
    * Can it be moved?
    * Should we simply cut it down (I really hate this thought, but if pruning is not recommended, and moving it isn't an option, is it the best option for opening the space again and giving us a full view into the rest of the garden?)

    Thanks for your thoughts and advice.

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