The hardest part in pruning apple or pear trees is to establishing whether they are spur- or a tip-bearing. Once that is done, you should just get yourself a sharp pair of loppers and follow our instructions.
Magnolias are one of those luxurious plants that you may fear ever going near with a pair of loppers.
Luckily, you seldom need too, because these slow growing plants don’t readily need any pruning. If you do need to cut back your Magnolia's branches for any reason, do so with care, otherwise you may end up with a misshapen, diseased and unhealthy plant.
Prune magnolia in the high summer
Magnolia pruning should be done in the height of summer because these plants are particularly prone to bleeding if they’re cut during the colder months of the year. Evergreen varieties can be pruned slightly earlier during the spring.
Maintenance pruning of magnolia trees
Plants should be shaped by removing weak stems, and shoots growing in the wrong direction. Identify weak and thin stems, or branches that are growing towards the centre of the tree. Remove these branches by making clean cuts with loppers above a health bud.
If you want to create a tree-like shape, you can remove lower branches by using a pruning saw to make a clean cut back to the trunk. Continue to lightly prune until you get the desired shape.
Limiting the size of magnolia trees
If you want to do more than a light trim on your magnolia, take care to prune over several years so as not to unduly stress your plant.
This can be done by thinning out growth and taking branches back to the trunk or a strong side shoot. When shortening branches, trace your finger back to a healthy bud or fork in the stem. Once again, use loppers or pruning saws to make a clean cut.