This is the time of the year when many of your neighbors will butcher their poor crepe myrtles in an effort to ‘prune’ them for the upcoming growing season.
I’m amazed at how many people still believe they need to chop their crepe myrtles back at this time of the year to promote extra blooms this summer. Unfortunately this misinformation, what I refer to as crepe murder, is rampant in North Texas in mid-to-late winter.
Treat your crepe myrtle like any other large tree and prune and trim as needed. You wouldn’t consider topping your oak treat at 20′ each year would you? The same is true of your crepe myrtle tree.
When people chop back their crepe myrtles all they are accomplishing is creating big, ugly knots on the trunks of their trees. When summer comes, their reward will be a few extra blooms that droop on spindly limbs that are too weak to hold the flowers weight.
Here’s how to correctly prune your crepe myrtle:
> Trim any limbs rubbing against each other or rubbing against your home or roof.
> If you feel the need to trim more, try not to trim anything larger than a pencil.
If you want to see an example of great crepe myrtle pruning I recommend a visit to theDallas Arboretum. Their crepe myrtles are amazing.
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