How to Prune Snow Magnolia Trees


Snow magnolia (nolia lobneri) is a flowering shrub and tree that grows to be about 30 feet tall. It has a somewhat rounded appearance and boasts fragrant flowers that bloom between March and April. The flowers are white in color with 15 petals. Snow magnolia does best when planted in full to partial sun, with fertile soil that is well-drained. Pruning snow magnolia will allow you to remove old, damaged wood, increase air circulation and encourage new growth and flower production.

Step 1

Perform minimal pruning in the spring. This includes pulling out damaged, dead and diseased branches. Look for crossed branches and cut them off with pruning shears.

Step 2

Remove some of the larger branches in the center of the snow magnolia tree or shrub, to allow light and air into the canopy. This will encourage new wood and flowers to grow.

Step 3

Do more extensive pruning after the summer flowering period ends. Cut back shoots that have sprouted from the ground and remove older branches inside the tree. Trim them down to the ground with shears or a saw.

Step 4

Cut off half the length of stems that had new flowers the previous year. This is called suckering habit pruning. Remove half the length in order to allow new, stronger shoots to grow.

Step 5

Shape the snow magnolia. Use pruning shears to trim off the ends of branches that are sticking out too much, ruining the appearance of the tree or shrub.

Step 6

Remove and clean up all leaves and flowers in the fall to avoid the spread of powdery mildew. Destroy them.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Pruning or chain saw
  • Gloves


  • Forestry Resources Extension
Keywords: snow magnolia trees, prune branches, prune snow magnolia

About this Author

Kelly Shetsky has been a broadcast journalist for more than ten years, researching, writing, producing and reporting daily on many topics. In addition, she writes for several websites, specializing in medical, health and fitness, arts and entertainment, travel and business-related topics. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Marist College.