Saucer magnolia trees produce white, purple and pink blossoms. They are easy to cultivate and, unlike many magnolias, they are tolerant of alkaline soils and wind. You need colored tape, a handsaw or pole saw, a ladder and bypass hand pruners.
- Find unwanted branches
Identify the branches that are damaged, diseased or infested by pests. Use colored tape to tag them.
- Cut the limbs
Begin by using the pole saw or handsaw to cut the damaged limbs from underneath, 8 to 12 inches away from the trunk. Cut halfway through, then finish severing the branch by cutting from above.
- Remove the stub
Use the handsaw or pole saw to cut through the stub from below. Cut at an upward angle at the intersection where the stub meets the trunk. Cut from above to meet the undercut, severing the stub completely.
- Identify and remove tall and wide-reaching branches
Find the branches that are growing too tall or wide. Tag them with colored tape. Use the bypass pruning shears or pole saw to remove them or cut them back.
- Remove water shoots
Locate hardy vertical limbs, and rub the buds off if possible. If that is not possible, prune no more than half of them. Bend the remaining water shoots back.