How to Trim a Crepe Myrtle How to Trim a Crepe Myrtle

Crepe myrtle trees do not need a regular trim, so prune them only to reinforce the desired shape, or to help promote new twig and branch growth. Here are tips you can follow to trim your crepe myrtle for the best results.

When to Trim

If you wish to shape your crepe myrtle, or remove overabundant branches, the best time to trim is in the winter, while the crepe myrtle is in winter dormancy, with no sap flowing. To force a second round of blooms, you can gently deadhead the crepe myrtle in late June after its first blossoms have faded. Trim off only the blooms near the branch junction. Be sure to trim for bloom enhancement before early August. The crepe myrtle's formation of flower buds must stop by then so the tree can prepare for its dormant period.

How to Trim

Use sharp garden shears, or curved pruning shears if you are trimming branches larger than 1 inch in diameter. Make clean, straight cuts, to avoid shredding the bark. Insect pests and airborne mold spores can enter the crepe myrtle easily through damaged bark. Trim as well at ground level, removing all but a few suckers, which will then grow outward and up from the main trunk.

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