Pruning Crepe Myrtles: A How-To Guide

Known both as crepe myrtles and crape myrtles, this beautiful flowering southern tree thrives year round, offering spectators a visual treat no matter the season. Boasting eye-catching blooms and attractive bark, this flowering tree blooms on new wood. That means pruning is essential to the success of this tree. Winter and early spring are ideal times to get out the pruners because they are leafless, which makes it easier to spot the branches. But don’t just hack away. There is a method to the madness! Here are some tips:

How To Trim A Crepe Myrtle

Don’t Get Carried Away

You’ve probably done this with your hedges before… kept trimming and trimming until only branches and a stump remain. It’s almost addictive once you get going. Refrain from doing this — especially with your crepe myrtles. You’ll end up committing “crepe murder,” resulting in the death of your precious trees. The practice of chopping off the tops of the trees is called “topping,” which is bad for these reasons:

Killing your crepe myrtle is a shame, especially since this plant is so easy to grow and maintain in this area. Crepe myrtles love the heat and humidity, and tolerate drought extremely well. There’s not much you can do to kill off your myrtle, except prune it way too much. Good pruning practices now when your crepe myrtle is young will translate to less maintenance when the tree gets more mature. Do it the right way now and you’ll enjoy vibrant summer colors later.

Need more tips? Want professional guidance? Call Twelve Oaks Landscape Co. today at (256) 208-5634 or request a quote online from us.