We asked it to give us a new, more graceful trunk
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Magnolias often have multiple trunks, but too many is not pretty or healthy. Arrows mark trunks to be sawed, soon. As the trunks increase in girth, those in the middle of the clump will be squeezed out. As George E. Brown wrote in "The Pruning of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers", it's "the effects of bad training in a young specimen..."
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This magnolia had only three trunks but one of those was
definitely not an assett. The others need shaping up. Our usual
time to prune Magnolia is in August or winter (for why, check
this) but in this case we want to take advantage of the spring
growing time to perhaps net some new shoots that can be better
trunks. So we prune in spring just before growth begins.
Above: Here it is on April 4, just before pruning to remove
an awkward trunk and low branches.
Below, 5 months later, you see it's offering new
We'll allow one to remain. (And we'll remove the weed
mulberry tree! Arrows point to magnolia shoots on the right,
mulberry on the left.)