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Trimming a Crepe Myrtle

If you have a crepe myrtle tree in your yard, you know how beautiful it can be in all seasons, with its stunning blooms and attractive bark. They thrive well in the south, producing beautiful flowers in the summer and brilliant colors in the fall. Ideal as a year-round accent for your yard, this tree’s scientific name is Lagerstroemia, a type of deciduous small tree native to India, northern Australia, and Oceania. While not too hard to care for, crepe myrtles do need a little bit of TLC to ensure they look great throughout the year.

Trimming and Pruning

Twelve Oaks Landscape, established in 2007, offers complete landscape management services. We service customers throughout Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia, ensuring top-notch grounds care and lawn care for a beautiful property you can be proud of. Trimming and pruning is a big part of getting your lawn ready to flourish throughout the spring and summer. If you have a crepe myrtle in your yard, it’s important to trim and prune it for the best results. There are a few different types of crepe myrtle. The Queen’s crepe myrtle likes to show off and has the best blooms of pink, purple and white at its peak in the beginning of summer. The Crepe Myrtle, L. indica, of the South is drought resistant and does really well in the hot weather. The Japanese Crepe Myrtle, originating in Japan, grows to between 20 and 30 feet tall with light green or yellow leaves depending on the season.

What to Do

Crepe myrtles respond well to even the heaviest of pruning, a task ideally done in late winter or early spring so you can take advantage of the full floral show, says Better Homes and Gardens. Just refrain from getting so chop-happy that you remove the central leader. For large shrubs and trees, prune away the basal suckers, twiggy growth, crossing branches, and any branches that lean in toward the center. You’ll also want to take off the side branches up to four to five feet, as this will show off the gorgeous bark — a hallmark of the crepe myrtle. Throughout the spring and summer, clip off spent blooms so the next round can come in quickly and vibrantly.


As with any other type of pruning and trimming, people have a tendency to go too far once they get going. Perhaps it’s like therapy! But resist the temptation to chop your crepe myrtle down to ugly bare stubs. Not only does this ruin the natural form, it encourages the growth of spindly, whip-like branches that aren’t strong enough to hold the flowers, cautions Southern Living. If you want to take some off the top to reduce its height, get some hand pruners or loppers to take no more than two to three feet off the top, trimming only till you hit a bud or side branch. For the thicker branches, cut back to the trunk when taking care of crepe myrtle trimming.

Don’t have the time, know-how or patience to tackle crepe myrtle pruning? Twelve Oaks Landscape would be happy to take care of it for you, as we want to make sure your lawn is in tip-top shape come the spring. Request a quote now!

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