Trimming Crepe Myrtles

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  #1  
Old 09-05-08, 11:49 AM
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Trimming Crepe Myrtles

My crepe myrtles are bushy from the ground up. I often see the same plants that look very neat and clean at the bottom and branch out at the top. They've been pruned this way. Does anyone know how or when to do this? Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 09-05-08, 05:30 PM
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It all depends on where you are. Lots of resources on line about crepe myrtles. We used to prune ours in the late fall after all the leaves had dropped. If you want the look yer talking about, you have to get pretty brutal with them, depending on how branchy they are now. You can cut back all the junk coming up on and around the main trunk almost anytime without any issues. I trimmed problem branches (not main trunks)anytime I wanted to w/no issues. Mytles are pretty tough! Ask the guys who've tried to remove some (like me), and spent 2 yrs rubbing Roundup on the shoots that came up.

The commercial guys back in VA would cut back to maybe 2 or 3 main trunks in the winter when they were slow, and they always came back nice and full topped in the spring.

Check with your local nursery or Master Gardener program
 
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Old 09-05-08, 06:28 PM
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You ain't gonna like this, but I trim mine with a backhoe. Those things should be listed on the noxious weed category. They grow from their roots and can take over a lawn quickly.
 
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Old 09-05-08, 06:48 PM
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chandler! We talking about the same tree? I had 5 in the front and 3 in the back...never had that kind of problem. Even have a few here. Granted suburban type yard...

They used to have crepe myrtle festivals back in VA.
 
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Old 09-06-08, 02:29 PM
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I have a crepe myrtle in my front yard about 12 yrs old doesn't spread at all. just grows more like a large shrub than any thing. very trouble free.

life begins when the kids leave home and the dog dies
 
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Old 09-06-08, 04:48 PM
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The ones I had on my previous farm spread underground and put out new shoot from the ground. It reminded me of bamboo. Maybe mine were maverick, but they were totally uncontrollable.
 
  #7  
Old 09-06-08, 08:21 PM
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Late winter to early spring after first frost while plant is dormant is the best time to prune. It depends your cultivar. Some cultivars require pruning to remove spent flower blossoms after they fade to stimulate new growth and another blossom flush in late summer. A second bloom is sometimes difficult to force on cultivars that bloom after mid-July. For more info go to: http://pubs.caes.uga.edu/caespubs/pubcd/L331.htm

Failure to remove crepe myrtle suckers will result in it looking like a bush. If previous owners cut the crepe myrtle to the ground it could have returned as a bush.

To maintain the look you desire, then you must remove suckers and weak branches of internal growth. The point is to leave the strongest branches and to maintain desired shape. http://www.crapemyrtlefarms.com/crape_myrtles.htm
 
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