for my Magnolia
Magnolia iolanthe is approx. 2 metres high and been in
the garden 5 years. It flowers well each year but puts on little
growth. Would pruning the lower branches off or any branches help
it grow, and if so what time of year could this be done?
asked our resident arborist, Jim Antill, for his advice. Jim suggested
looking at soil type and fertility first. Magnolias generally
prefer rich, well-drained soils. If your tree is not in the
right soil conditions, it could be sulking.
Cutting branches off
may stimulate "juvenile" growth of upright branchlets, and these
will not flower for at least a year. They also could become
tangled with the more spreading habit of the older branches.
Jim could not see much benefit as far as growth goes.
But if for other reasons
there is a case for removing branches, do it in the dead of winter
or very early spring before the buds begin to burst. Make
sure that you don't cut the "branch collar" at the base of the branch.
This takes the form of a slight swelling, and consists of stem tissue,
not branch tissue. If it is damaged, e.g., by making a "flush
cut", the tree is more susceptible to rot penetration.
by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor
of Resource Management.
with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous
The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH