how big magnolia tree get

How Big do Magnolia Trees Get? (Pruning Guide)


With a sparkling white color, the Magnolia’s flowers give it all a charm in summer. A Magnolia can grow up to 60 ft tall and 9 to 18 ft wide. However, there are also smaller varieties that can be planted in the garden.


How tall can magnolias grow?

Evergreen magnolias can grow to 60 feet tall and should be planted away from homes.


Deciduous magnolias are smaller in size (about 15 to 18 feet tall) and can even be planted along a wall for trellising.


Where to plant the magnolia?

Choose a sunny or semi-shaded location. Since magnolia smells great, you may want to choose a location near the patio or balcony.


If you have chosen a large Magnolia tree, you will need to give it a location with a 5 to 6 meter radius where no other plantings can get in the way.


Pruning the magnolia tree

Is it necessary to prune the magnolia?

It is not necessary to prune a magnolia tree. In fact, what we like most about this shrub is its free and natural habit. But if you notice that your magnolia is not growing well, you can do a training pruning.


Be sure to do this at the end of the blooming season or in the fall. To let your magnolia breathe, you can also clean it by removing dead or tired wood that prevents it from catching the sunlight.


When should I prune my magnolia?

Every two to three years, after flowering in July/August, in the fall or even in winter for maintenance pruning. Training pruning is done after flowering for deciduous species and in February-March for evergreen magnolias. Proceed before the first signs of vegetative growth and outside the frost period.


Why should I prune a magnolia?

As a spectacular punctuation mark in the middle of a lawn or dominating a shrubbery, the place of a magnolia is often strategic in the garden. It is often said that no pruning is really necessary for a magnolia, and this is true.


However, as it grows, the magnolia can tend to become unstructured, naturally taking on a rounded shape, weighed down by the weight of the fruiting crop. It may also show holes in the foliage, revealing dry wood that is not very attractive.


Regular pruning will stimulate the regrowth of branches but also keep the tree in a dense, bushy, elegant and balanced shape. This pruning may be necessary to contain the development of magnolias grown in pots and in small gardens.


How to prune a magnolia ?

Training pruning

During the first 3 or 4 years of planting, young magnolias can be pruned to shape their silhouette.  After 4-5 years, the magnolia will be well established and will not need pruning.

  • Cut the current year’s growth in half
  • Keep only the main trunk and eliminate all low branches for 1 to 2 meters in height unless you want a branched shrub
  • Remove tangled branches in the center of the branch
  • Reduce the branching if it looks untidy


Maintenance pruning

The principle of a maintenance pruning is only to rebalance, even to reduce the branching and to eliminate the intertwined branches and the old branches to keep the magnolia in a nice shape.


With the help of pruning shears or a lopper you will remove stubborn, overly tight or tangled stems. You may need a pole pruner to reach the large branches at the top.


In deciduous Magnolias

  • Shorten the ends of the longest branches to homogenize the foliage
  • Cut flush the branches that intersect in order to aerate the silhouette of the tree
  • Remove all dead wood at the base of the branches


For evergreen magnolias

  • Prune from the base to the top and start with the tips
  • Slightly cut stems that compromise symmetry
  • Shorten the longest branches
  • Make sure to respect a harmonious shape by frequently taking a step back
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