Unless damaged by frost, a crepe myrtle generally doesn't require much pruning. This guide is about pruning a crepe mrytle tree.
Here are questions related to Pruning a Crepe Myrtle Tree.
I planted a crepe myrtle tree last fall, it is about 8 feet tall and does not appear to need pruning or shaping.
If I do not prune it will it have flower blooms? Or does it need to be pruned to create the flower blooms?
Hardiness Zone: 9b
By Tom from Thousand Oaks, CA
Crepe Myrtle trees are planted for both the flowers and the beauty of the trunk. Incorrect pruning, "Crepe Murder" is the widespread practice of topping trees that should grow between 20 and 30 feet tall. This is incorrect and will eventually damage the tree, not to mention make it ugly most of the year. If you want to see over it, then buy a bush or a dwarf variety. Topping does not produce more blooms. Proper pruning removes unwanted trunks and branches from the inside. If you want to see through it, that's fine, but don't remove the top beyond reachable spent flowers.
I had my crepe myrtle cut back and now I keep getting new growth all the way up the trunk. It is a tree form and I don't want it to start growing except toward the top not from ground up on trunk. What can I do? I have cut them off, but they keep coming back. I live in Texas and there is a lot of sun.
By Pat R
You've done irreparable damage to the tree by topping it. It will never be the same. You can let the suckers continue to grow and have a large bush. Or, you can remove the tree and plant another. Decide how high you want the tree to be and buy one that will grow to that height and width. Give it proper space and you may not have to ever prune it. But, if you do, them do it as you would a dogwood or any other deciduous blooming tree. There's a lot of good information on how to properly prune trees on the net.
I have a crepe myrtle tree that looks like it started growing sideways, is there anyway I can trim or prune it so that it will grow up straight?
I live in Zone 7-8 when is the best time for pruning it?
By Nancy from central AL
I have 3 crepe myrtle trees on the south side of my house. The bark on all 3 trees is gone, just dried up and fell off I guess. The plants seem tall and spindly with very little leaf or flower growth. What could this be and should I prune back the trees dramatically? Please let me know what I can do.
By Dawn B.
I was told to clip the green berries off to produce more flowers. I thought those were the pods that bloom.
I am not of the Pollard school of thought regarding crepe myrtles. I want a large open arching tree. I am also a neat-nik. If I remove the green berries (November) will I get fewer or more blooms? I prefer fewer blooms (less mess and berries), how do I achieve that?
I suppose that might work but how can you get to them? If you remove only the flower buds that should be fine. They are very messy trees dropping spent blossoms, seed pods, peeling bark, and leaves in the fall. But they're some of the most beautiful trees as well with their smooth shiny bark and sculptural limbs.
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Hardiness Zone: 7a
LORRAINE from LINDENHURST
Remember that the trees WILL produce other tree off-spring from the "saplings" nearby and underground roots. If you want them, let them live, otherwise be persistent in cutting them back. Do NOT plant Crepe Myrtles near foundations or concrete because they will lift and crack it. Give them about 10-12 feet from foundations/walks. I made this mistake and am suffering the consequences of a tilted walk. This actually goes for most ANY tree, especially if they are invasive and have tough large roots.
I believe it would be prudent to paint any cut larger than 3" wide with pruning paint, but carefully, as the bark is light and the paint is black and ugly. It helps prevent unsightly dark grey healing. I know of no pests that attack Crepe Myrtles in Texas, zone 8. Good luck and God bless. (08/19/2006)
What is the best way to remove dead branches from crape myrtles? Should I cut at the base, or higher up if it is green?
Hardiness Zone: 8a
Jwagner from Abilene, Texas
I planted a Crepe Myrtle tree 4 feet from my house. It's 4 years old now. Should I be worried the roots will do damage to the foundation of my house? It has grown higher than the roof line. How much should I cut back? It has never been pruned. Thanks. jholtie
I have some Crepe Myrtles in my yard and I would like to keep them short. What shall I do?
Hardiness Zone: 8b
By ladyinpinkm4 from Birmingham, AL
When should I prune a crepe myrtle? We had a hard frost for 5 nights, but it was above freezing during the day.
Hardiness Zone: 9a
By Dotty from Kingwood, TX
I planted crepe myrtles this past summer. I need to know when and how to trim them. I have 26 trees along my driveway.
Hardiness Zone: 8a
By blondie58 from Omaha, TX