Add to GuideAsk a Question
To Top

Pruning a Crepe Myrtle Tree

Category Trees
Unless damaged by frost, a crepe myrtle generally doesn't require much pruning. This guide is about pruning a crepe mrytle tree.
Ad

Solutions

Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

August 26, 20160 found this helpful

Crape myrtles can successfully be started from both hard and soft wood cuttings. This is a guide about starting a crape myrtle from a cutting.

Read More... Was this helpful? Yes

Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
January 18, 2011

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?

Ad

Tom

Hardiness Zone: 9b

By Tom from Thousand Oaks, CA

Answers

January 21, 20110 found this helpful

We live in Florida, our crepe myrtles bloom without pruning but I gotta tell you, it's hard not to prune them :) the thing about pruning them is you will always see where you pruned from do you know what I mean? And I like the tree looking kind better than the bushes. Really tho, it's personal preference. Happy Gardening.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
January 21, 20110 found this helpful

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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Ad

Answer this Question...

July 9, 20140 found this helpful

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

Answers

September 27, 20150 found this helpful

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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Ad

Answer this Question...

By 0 found this helpful
March 31, 2014

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

Answers

September 27, 20150 found this helpful

There is no 'best' time. If you top it then you'll have sucker growth from below, and for every sturdy limb you cut back you'll have three or more weak whips sprout. If it's crooked maybe you need to remove a limb or two back to the trunk.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question...

September 23, 20130 found this helpful

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.

Ad

By Dawn B.

Answers

September 27, 20150 found this helpful

DON'T PRUNE THEM! Peeling bark is a normal function of a crepe myrtle and some other trees and shrubs. It will be fine.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question...

August 14, 20130 found this helpful

I was told to clip the green berries off to produce more flowers. I thought those were the pods that bloom.

By Shirley

Answers

September 27, 20150 found this helpful

Yes, they are the buds. When the buds have finished blooming most of them will fall off. You can cut the dead buds off but it isn't necessary.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question...

November 8, 20120 found this helpful

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?

By Gail

Ad

Answers

September 27, 20150 found this helpful

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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question...

Archives

ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

January 18, 20110 found this helpful

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

Answers:

Pruning a Crepe Myrtle Tree

Don't butcher the tree as so many mowing crews do. If you want one trunk, prune away the others. If you want multiple trunks, just prune the limbs that cross. Make sure you check the variety and see what the mature size will be in case they are planted too close together. I planted twigs 20 years ago and now they are taller than my house.
This photo was taken after a Texas ice storm in March 2007, but the crepe myrtles were not damaged. (01/07/2011)

By rbrady

RE: Pruning a Crepe Myrtle Tree

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

December 18, 20100 found this helpful

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

Answers:

Pruning a Crepe Myrtle Tree

Now is a good time to prune all trees etc., good luck. (01/26/2010)

By kffrmw88

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

January 25, 20100 found this helpful

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

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

July 16, 20090 found this helpful

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

Answers:

Pruning a Crepe Myrtle Tree

Don't prune it, keep an eye on it, and if it needs to be moved eventually, then move it. If a root ran under the foundation and you were moving it, you would just cut that root off. It wouldn't grow, not like a root of a Chinese Wisteria. If you have a well-watered lawn out front of it, the major roots will move that direction and you'll be fine. Don't be irrationally afraid of a tree that's taller than the roofline like people where I live. They butch the top off any tree that puts its head up. A distorted landscape that makes me not want to look at trees like that. (04/01/2009)

By kimhis

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

March 30, 20090 found this helpful

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

Pruning a Crepe Myrtle Tree

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

July 1, 20070 found this helpful

Question:

What month should you prune a crepe myrtle tree?

Hardiness Zone: 7a

LORRAINE from LINDENHURST

Answer:

Lorraine,

Flowers are produced on new growth, so it's best to prune in the late winter or early spring while the tree is still dormant (February through April). Occasionally, Crepe Myrtle trees can also be encouraged to produce a second flush of flowers by lightly pruning them immediately after the first flowers fade. Keep in mind that heavy pruning isn't necessary to promote vigorous flowering. Light pruning is better. "Crepe Murder" is the amusing expression used to describe the wide spread, late winter mutilation of Crepe Myrtle trees commonly committed by well-intentioned gardeners each spring. Many gardeners and landscapers wait too long to prune. When vigorous growth results in heavy, yet weak (and broken) branches, they start to lop off the tree's limbs in an effort to control growth and fix its appearance. This practice of overzealous pruning almost always results in a proliferation of knobby stumps and crowds of sprouting suckers that over time, work to completely diminish the lovely flowing appearance of the tree. A regular regime of light pruning in various places will prevent this, while invigorating the tree and improving its overall strength. And while pruning isn't required for the health of your tree, a complete lack of pruning usually results in a weak spindly tree with fewer flowers. It's best to pick a variety that will grow to your desired height, and then prune it lightly to maintain its size. If necessary, remove limbs from inside the tree's canopy that cross or hang too low, by removing the entire branch so that it's flush with the tree's trunk. Remember that any stubs you leave while pruning will encourage new shoots.

Ellen Brown

More Answers:

Pruning a Crepe Myrtle Tree

Don't know about your area, but anytime the tree seems dormant especially, OR just after it blooms out in the Spring, remove all dead branches and old bloomed out stems. Caution: Do NOT cut in the middle of a branch. You will NOT be please with the results. Best to remove the entire branch if you need. Cut it flush with it's parent branch. If you are shaping into a tree, just remove the lower stems at the absolute base of connection to the trunk so the wound can heal over, and keep
enough branches on it, if a newer tree, to keep it growing. Each year you can remove a few more until.

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)

By Lynda

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
Related Content
Categories
Home and Garden Gardening Pruning TreesMay 29, 2012
Guides
More
🍂
Thanksgiving Ideas!
🎃
Halloween Ideas!
Facebook
Pinterest
YouTube
Contests!
Newsletters
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Categories
Desktop Page | View Mobile

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

© 1997-2017 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Published by .

Generated 2017/10/21 10:13:39 in 579 msecs. ⛅️️ ⚡️
Loading Something Awesome!