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Magnolia ID and Maintenance

Id first like to identify this magnolia (it has very few white flowers) and then work out how to best maintain it. A lot of the leaves are brown/yellow but the branches appear healthy.The soil is alkaline so I’ll start with compost manure to try and balance the soil but at a loss in terms of shaping it and cutting back tall branches. I don’t want to damage the tree or cause water sprouts but I would like to reshape. Was thinking to cut back a few of the higher branches? Any advice would be gratefully received. TIA


  • robiwanrobiwan Posts: 206
    Magnolia grandiflora 
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,695
    That looks like a Magnolia grandiflora. It likes  a sheltered spot. There is a lovely one by the church in St Ives which is sheltered from the sea and gets heat from granite walls.  Being crackers and up for a challenge, I bought one. It is now about 20ft high, it was sheltered by the orchard next door which has now been cleared. In response mine is dropping a lot of leaves as it has lost shelter, and is open to the wind.  They don't like being cut back much. I just let mine be.  A good mulch is about all it needs.  They do grow into big trees. If it is going to be too big for that situation, I would take it out and try something smaller.
  • Thank you for your input, much appreciated 
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,695
    Not the best photo, but the back central is the Magnolia grandiflora. The pink flowers to the left of it are Magnolia soulangeana. They were planted at the same time, 25 years ago.  The trunk is about a foot in diameter.  The flowers at the top of the grandiflora are best seen from the upstairs bedroom window.
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