This is a 16 year old Magnolia grandiflora in zone 8a. Should it be pruned, or left alone?

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  • you normally prune for a reason, aesthetics, branch in the way, damage. what is the goal here?
    – kevinskio
    Commented Feb 10, 2018 at 15:32
  • The reasons I see are visible on photos: one branch is hitting the fence, and overall shape of the tree. @kevinsky
    – VividD
    Commented Feb 10, 2018 at 15:48

1 Answer 1


When you see branches growing towards the center they need to be pruned or told to grow outwards. When you have a vigorous branch with more vegetation than the branch is able to hold that branch needs to be un weighted by pruning back to an outward growing bud and when cut, the branch should rise with the loss of weight.

I would lighten a few of those lower very heavy branches, thin the tree next to it to allow more light, clean out the dead branches, dying, damaged branches and those growing toward the center. Very common with nursery grown stock. When in doubt don't cut. Stand back from all angles...you'll begin to see errant branches, branches that are too heavy and branches that are redundant. You just have to hold back and not do too much. Use alcohol on your by pass pruners to clean. Sharpen your pruners...Felco #2 is my favorite pruner.

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