Friday, February 15, 2013

How to Prune Crape Myrtle

This type of severe pruning, often referred to as crape murder, is never the correct way to prune crape myrtle!
Too often crape myrtles are cut back to bare trunks in the belief this abuse will yield more flowers. In reality this type of severe pruning results in a shorter bloom time, delayed flowering, weaker branching, and can increase insect and disease problems. This practice, known as topping, is harmful to all trees and is never the right way to prune a crape myrtle.

Like all trees, the correct way to prune a crape myrtle involves enhancing its natural form rather than trying to force it to grow in a space that is too small or an artificial shape. Crape myrtles naturally grow as small upright or vase shaped trees with multiple trunks. In a well pruned crape myrtle, the trunks grow upward and outward, with branches fanning out rather than growing inward into the center of the tree. To learn more about how to prune crape myrtle, read the whole article posted on the Pender Cooperative Extension website:

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