Most early bloomers are relatively easy to care for, but some require a pruning now and then. Old branches and twigs that influence the overall form should be removed. For many ornamental woody plants, careful pruning will actually encourage blossoming. Magnolias, although they basically tolerate pruning, should be allowed to grow freely whenever possible. In contrast to many other spring bloomers, they do not deteriorate with age, but rather form more flowers every year. Once you’ve got shears in hand, be sure to use care and caution. If you’re really not sure what and how much to snip, it’s better to leave it to the professionals. The ideal time for pruning early blooming woody plants are the days and weeks immediately after flowering, since the branches that grow in the following vegetative cycle will carry the buds for next year.