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Trimming overgrown magnolias

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by 2k1yzfr1, Nov 4, 2004.

  1. 2k1yzfr1

    2k1yzfr1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 539

    I have a client that has a hedge of magnolias that are about 25' tall and wants them "trimmed"...... normally we trim them 2 times a year but this year they will only get trimmed once. We try to keep them at about 20', but is there anyway that I could cut them back to 12' so they could be easier to maintain in the future. When is a good time to do this if it can be done??
  2. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    You trim them twicw a year? Do they blossom in the springtime? These are plants that blossom on year old wood, so it is actually best to trim them in late spring - just after they are all done blossoming. When you trim them late in the season, like now, you will be cutting off alot of buds that would be blossoms next year. Yes, it can be done, just not the most optimum time to do them. If it is more important to the customer to have a smaller decent sized hedgerow over alot of blossoms, then yes, I would do them now. Also, if you do them now, that is not to say that you are going to take all the blossoms. Actually, if it was me, yes, I would trim them down.
    Also, remember, the larger chutes are going to be pruned down even lower or some even cut right out to keep an even height, because new chutes will grow laterally from them, especially at the tops. I hope this helps.
  3. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    I have one large sounthern magnoila on the southern side of my house. Its now starting to get too tall for where it is. So I asked the guy who does my tree ferts as he's a certified arborist, about cutting the top back. He said to do it as Runner said after it gets it blooms ( less than 12 a year frankly but it blooms off and on all summer).
    He just told me to top it "whenever". I'm no tree pruning expert but thought I'd just pass this on to you for what its worth.
    While the few blooms we get smell fantastic, given the mess this tree constantly makes, I;m sorry I ever planted it.
  4. grass-scapes

    grass-scapes LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,552

    I maintain a property aptly named the "magnolias" due to an OVER abundance of them dang things. Talk about leaf removal. I do leaf removal 3 times a year there instead of one. I hate them trees....LOL
  5. 2k1yzfr1

    2k1yzfr1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 539

    Thanks for all the help. I'm gonna top them off this week sometime. I know they'll look bad during winter, but they have just got out of hand. If I can get them down to the 10-12' mark they would be much easier to maintain with a 8' ladder.
  6. Geezer

    Geezer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 44

    What type of Magnolia are you wanting to prune? Magnolia grandiflora(Southern Magnolia) is what everyone is assuming.
  7. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    THeres another variety that was developed for colder climates (like for zone 5 and 6. Its called a Brackens Beauty. I also have one of those and it does not make the mess that the Southern one does.

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