We moved into a new home with a magnolia tree that was pruned extensively in the fall. We are wondering if it may come back to life. It is now the end of March and it looks lifeless. Thank you for your information.
Will a Magnolia Come Back
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
I have a magnolia tree in my backyard that has buds. I do know that magnolias break bud either in early spring before leaf development (as mine has) or in summer after full leaf development.
The former owner of your home made a faux pas. Extensive pruning on deciduous magnolias should never be done as it stresses the tree too much and it should never be done on mature magnolias in particular. Pruning should really be restricted to removing deadwood. Your tree may come back to life, but maybe not this year. After mature magnolias are pruned like this, they can be slow to heal and are reluctant to produce new growth until the second season after pruning.