To cut or not to cut

Discussion in 'Magnoliaceae' started by jamessutherland, Oct 27, 2006.

  1. jamessutherland

    jamessutherland Member

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    Tarragona,Spain
    I have a Magnolia tree which is about three metres tall but is very leggy and only has a fringe of sad leaves on top. I think the mediterranean climate here does not suit it.
    However can some one tell me if I pollarded it the way I would a cherry tree would I encourage more vigorous foliage or kill the tree
     
  2. smivies

    smivies Active Member

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    Magnolia typically, are not good candidates for pruning. When healthy they generally have a good strong form. Pruning can be done to generate more of a tree form (vs. shrub) or to remove dead or problem branches. Pollarding a Magnolia will result in vigourous watersprouts that are weakly attached to the trunk. You'll also have fewer or no flowers due to all the energy going into vegatative growth. I don't recommend it!

    Your assertion that a Mediterranean climate is not ideal for a magnolia is correct. They do not like drought! Almost every species of magnolia is native to temperate climates with hot, humid summers with frequent rain. If you can't irrigate it during the summer, it's not an appropriate tree for you.

    Simon
     
  3. jamessutherland

    jamessutherland Member

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    Thank you for confirming my suspicions. I'm afraid the answer is to cut. That is cut it down and replace it with something more appropriate Thanks James.
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    If this is an evergreen magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) there are many big specimens in the Mediterranean climate of California. Rankin (Magnolias - A Care Manual) says "In warmer climates, such as along the Riviera and Italy, they can grow to enormous dimensions in a very short time". If this tree is possible in your district there will be larger, older ones around there somewhere.

    If yours is an ordinary seedling it would be just as well to replace with a grafted, named selection of known superior characteristics, that will also commence flowering when still small. Seedlings may take 10-20 years to reach flowering size.
     

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