Pruning a Magnolia Shrub
I live on a rural property in Ontario, Canada. The winters here are fairly harsh but have been getting warmer in recent years. My problem is a rather large (8-10 foot) Magnolia shrub that seems to be doing well in its sheltered location. It generally blooms in March or April but this year the weather was so strange it got confused and barely bloomed at all.
Someone in this shrub's history has done a dreadfully bad pruning job so now it is horribly shaped and most of the branches fork near the tips and in very awkward places. I am willing to either drastically prune this shrub OR 'renovate' it over a few years but cannot figure out the best time to do so. Nor do I know the correct technique to avoid creating a worse mess. If the pruning sacrifices a season of blooms, I don't mind. My objective is to end up with a healthy shrub that is about 4 or 5 feet tall and branches nicely from the bottom. Any advice you could offer would be VERY MUCH appreciated!