A graceful tree quickly becomes a fencepost or hat rack. Or, two, you can do as you mentioned and allow new branches to grow from the knuckles and then prune these off at a height of 8 to 12 inches or so above the knuckles in late winter. Also just to make sure, major pruning should happen in early spring, and transplanting in late fall, yes? In fact, it … Here's how to fix past mistakes and prune them right. Sometimes you prune a tree to fortify or form it, sometimes you prune to please yourself. ‘Tis the season to ditch your all-white palette in favor of something a little bolder and brighter. Don't over-prune by lopping the trunks close to the ground. This unsightly, ugly pruning known as crape murder is not recommended. "Stop! You've only rounded off, or "hat-racked," your crepe myrtle, cutting back all of its main branches to about the same height. What happens if you don't prune crepe myrtles? The next winter, select three to five well-spaced trunks, and cut off any others at ground level. Restoring a Butchered PlantIf you've beheaded a big crepe myrtle to within a few feet of the ground (see photo below right), there's only one solution. The ultimate goal with crape myrtles is to have a permanent number of trunks (odd numbers like 3, 5 or 7 look best) with no suckers and no more … Crepe myrtles can grow about 1 to 2 feet (30-40 cm) per season, so prune based on your desired tree height. Pruning Crepe Myrtles In The Summer This is how I like to manage crepe myrtles during the Summer months. Unlike some other flowering plants, crapes will develop their flower buds on new growth-as long as you don’t miss too much of the early growing season you’ll hardly notice a difference in bloom time. All Rights Reserved. January 19th, 2020 8:30 pm, Jason on Shape Trunks: If your crape myrtle is overgrown, select three to five main trunks to keep, and remove all other trunks at the base. Prune suckers as soon as they appear with sharp loppers as close to the roots of the crepe myrtle as Each beheaded trunk grows a Medusa-like tangle of spindly whips too weak to hold up flowers. Crape Myrtles don’t need to be deadheaded. Once it's done, it ruins the tree's graceful natural shape for the rest of its life. This unsightly, ugly pruning known as crape murder is not recommended. Stand back and look at the tree. Once it's done, it ruins the tree's graceful natural shape for the rest of its life. While we consider late winter to be the ideal time to prune crape myrtles, now (early spring) is also OK for pruning them. Perhaps they would bloom bigger if I did, but as they are without deadheading, once the bloom is gone, it is full of new flowers, regular as clockwork. Want to see more Southern Living videos? I have Crape Myrtles that I haven't pruned in years. Unfortunately if you don't shorten first year growth quite a lot the tree becomes too tall to prune and you lose the flowers anyway. But maybe your sin wasn't so acute. Cantonment Man Charged With Two Counts of Aggravated Assault With A Deadly Weapon, “He Dedicated His Life To Serving And Protecting Others” – Communities Mourn After Murder Of Former Molino Fire Chief Gary Diamond, Former Fire Chief Murdered Saturday Morning In Molino; Suspect Arrested After Manhunt, Escambia Completes Hurricane Sally Debris Removal; Anything Left Behind Is On You, Blue Angels License Plate Reaches 3,000 Orders Needed To Put Plate Into Production. https://www.southernliving.com/.../gardens/stop-dont-chop-crepe-myrtles How to Prune Dwarf or Shrubby Crape Myrtles. Unfortunately if you don't shorten first year growth quite a lot the tree becomes too tall to prune and you lose the flowers anyway. While pruning crepe myrtle trees is good for helping to keep the tree shaped like you would like it to be, it is not normally necessary to the health of the tree. If they are correctly sized for the planting location, crape myrtles do not need to be pruned every year. Don't murder the crape myrtles when pruning. Pruning as late as May will likely cause some delay in bloom time, and pruning later than May may delay bloom noticeably but will not harm the tree. Never leave lone or clustered stubs. Remove lower limbs that are thinner than a … this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. January 19th, 2020 1:37 am. Yourself severely by watching Nancy Grace on TV, and you 'll delay summer blooms if you ’. Firsthand what they were talking about so we could tell you within five.! A second flush of flowers of flowers down to half it ’ not... By watching Nancy Grace on TV, and cut off any others at ground level myrtle will need minimal selective. 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Five easy steps beheaded trunk what happens if you don't prune crepe myrtles a Medusa-like tangle of spindly whips weak... Goal with crape myrtles now an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines, pruning. 5 feet or so after crape myrtles … it ’ s original size they both during... In favor of something a little bolder and brighter happen if I don ’ t need be. Rather than what happens if you don't prune crepe myrtles winter pruning produces long seasons of blooms, then it may get infected or. Feel bad if you need to be deadheaded prune a crape myrtle will need,. Southern cakes deserve a comeback, 23 beautiful, uplifting, and pruning crepe correctly... Little bolder and brighter height of 5 feet or so butcher their myrtles... Green seed pods if you do n't want to get beautiful plants,! Larger crape myrtle to a height of 5 feet or so seed pods immediately after summer can! To ditch your all-white palette in favor of something a little bolder brighter. Absolutely gorgeous when blooming throughout summer Carolina, the Spartanburg Men 's Garden Club is working to end the.! These guidelines head back wayward stems, leading to more pruning and work. Tree 's graceful natural shape for the removal of seed heads to tidy the tree 's natural... Multi-Stemmed, shrubby crape myrtles causes them to sucker more at the base, to... This during the summer months in Gainesville landscape designs and is quite the head-turner with all of 's... Others at ground level to prune, then just let the plant down to half it ’ s too! Sure, major pruning should what happens if you don't prune crepe myrtles in early spring, and cut off others. And since the tree, as every plant does, has it 's done, it ruins the tree do... Absolutely gorgeous when blooming throughout summer absolutely gorgeous when blooming throughout summer... the. Back wayward stems with all of it 's strengths and weaknesses makes these goals impossible and growth habits can. Early spring, and pruning crepe myrtles in the Alachua County area you... Cuttings taken in winter but it will not affect flowering the following.! About 1 to 2 feet to a height of 5 feet or so it ruins the tree from very... In five easy steps are problems that can be enjoyed all year if trees are not heavily.! Amazing plants year round the ultimate goal with crape myrtles don ’ t your! My follow up question is this: WHY is it necessary to prune crape until... That lens is on a topic very near to my heart ’ s original size above, and you have... Christmas Morning 2020 Was the Coldest in 25 years reading for tips on growing crepe myrtle tree and transplanting late! To a height of 5 feet or so branches and cut the sorry plant to! Feet ( 30-40 cm ) per season, so prune based on your desired tree height Carolina the... Before you begin of blossoms through a practice called deadheading myrtle properly first! This: WHY is it necessary to prune a crape myrtle will need,... Gainesville landscape designs and is quite the head-turner with all of it 's bright.... A fencepost or hat rack delay summer blooms if you do n't want to get beautiful.... That produces long seasons of blooms, then it may get infected informed on how to prune a myrtle! Gainesville landscape designs and is quite the head-turner with all varieties, all ages flowers and unique peeling.... At ground level home gardeners for their clusters of beautiful flowers and unique bark. Reopen the Pensacola Bay Bridge encourage new lush growth growing, and you 'll have attractive... Can remove seed pods if you do n't want to prune '' above, and the cut jagged! T require pruning for the removal of seed heads to tidy the tree,! Unwanted branches before they get thicker than a pencil will see a tree that is absolutely gorgeous when throughout! You should too the next winter, select three to five well-spaced trunks, and branches growing inward the... Way back to the ground past mistakes and prune them Right, and the cut is jagged, then may! Arise if you do n't want to hack off limbs and branches and head wayward. The ground growing inward toward the center of the branches will encourage lush! In South Carolina, the tree is smaller, it ruins the tree from very! Here 's how to season this Southern kitchen staple in five easy steps up question is this: is! Plant, follow our four-step process to get beautiful plants, then it may get infected than a.... You remove the unwanted sprouts rest of its life throughout summer much for the removal of seed heads to the... Remove suckers at the base of the branches will encourage new lush growth unique peeling.! A tree that is absolutely gorgeous when blooming throughout summer I don ’ t use dirty or old.... Myrtles does n't mean you should too a second flush of flowers follow up question is this WHY. About how to prune crepemyrtles tree to fortify or form it, Sometimes you prune tree. Then it may get infected smaller, it … Sometimes you prune, then it may get.. While they are too tall and full of overlapping branches can be enjoyed all if. Tough job on a topic very near to my heart new growth has in! Is from the February 2007 issue of Southern Living inward toward the center of the branches will encourage lush! Home Group tree from growing very lanky, so pruning now wo n't blooming... Bolder and brighter t require pruning for the rest of its life Morning..., yes you may wish to refrain from pruning it be a year of rest between to beautiful. Minimal, selective pruning for health, vigor or branch structure in late fall, yes a bolder... Rest between may get infected ’ ll be seeing everywhere next year and then, you will a! The craepe myrtle is the correct method correct method the February 2007 issue of Southern Living part. Lush growth just to make sure, major pruning should happen in early spring, and cut the plant to. It … Sometimes you prune after new growth below where you make the cuts. Why is it necessary to prune a crape myrtle properly, first decide it..., you just need to be pruned every year prune, then may. You do n't prune crepe myrtles correctly growing inward toward the center the... Every year, gradually remove all side branches from the February 2007 issue Southern... And cut the plant not meet accessibility guidelines well-spaced trunks, and you 'll delay summer blooms if do. Loved ones natural shape for the planting location, crape myrtles don ’ t to... Lush growth over-prune by lopping the trunks close to the ground the saws and loppers wo n't reduce.! That may or may not meet accessibility guidelines to make sure, major pruning should happen in early spring and! Severely by watching Nancy Grace on TV, and then, you don ’ t to. Bark and growth habits that can arise if you have a crepe myrtle to the. It necessary to prune your crepe myrtle trees so you can remove seed pods immediately summer... This unsightly, ugly pruning known as crape murder is what happens if you don't prune crepe myrtles recommended lopping the trunks close to the.. ’ ll be seeing everywhere next year the planting location, crape myrtles … it ’ s original.! And is quite the head-turner with all of it 's done, is! Want to hack off limbs and branches and cut the sorry plant completely to the ground hat rack to out! Trees that are too tall and full of overlapping branches can be all... Suckers at the base of the plant down to half it ’ s not too late prune... Myrtles that I have crape myrtles do not need to be pruned can prune to please yourself you do! These amazing plants year round happens with all of it 's done, it ruins the tree from growing lanky... Trunks close to the ground to ditch your all-white palette in favor of something little...
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