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Landscape Poet
01-19-2011, 06:11 PM
I know many say that trimming the Crape Myrtles are not necessary......but here in Central Florida at least.....it seems to be a religion. Seems to be many schools of thought about when and how to "properly trim" Crapes too. I witnessed them being trimmed as early as late December this year. It is common to see different companies and homeowners starting to trim them now too. For some reason in my mind I feel waiting until the possiblity of freeze makes the most sense. And even then just doing very minimal.


What are your guys practices in regards to method of pruning and the time of year that you do it.

abrightday
01-19-2011, 06:38 PM
I say wait till the end of February. Generally we're out of the hard freezes by then, if you trim and a hard freeze hits, it could further damage or even kill the tree. I have a blog on my web sight on Central Florida freeze damage,check it out, www.YourLandscapePro.com

Landscape Poet
01-19-2011, 08:36 PM
I say wait till the end of February. Generally we're out of the hard freezes by then, if you trim and a hard freeze hits, it could further damage or even kill the tree. I have a blog on my web sight on Central Florida freeze damage,check it out, www.YourLandscapePro.com

I like your web page . It is exactly what I am wanting to set up. A place that is informative for customers. I was thinking maybe some videos of pest such a cinch bugs because it seems most home owners do not actual understand how small they are or how to really find them. They see the standard picture which is a close up of them, and think they are 2 inches long.
You have done a good job on the site. One of the best as far as getting information out there that I have seen in a long while. :clapping::clapping:

Landscape Poet
01-19-2011, 08:38 PM
And yes I agree with your time frame. I am just trying to open the discussions down here in our little FL area of lawnsite. Thought that this topic might be something to get the conversations going since there appears to be many schools of thoughts on this.

gregory
01-19-2011, 08:53 PM
thats what i normally do i trim all the bushes at the end of feb.

MarcSmith
01-19-2011, 09:30 PM
the biggest issue in florida in the winter time is the chance of new growth and then a big freeze. nothern florida gets "real winters" Id have no problems trimming in december. orlando area you have the potential for some really warm winter days would cold force new growth after a prune. Id be inclined to wait until january...and not risk a December warm spell..

Crepes are durable. but the murdering of the trees IS unneeded. but once its been done, there is no going back...I did it in orlando. heck with an early enough spring you could prune the crepes twice and get two flowerings out of em...And everyone does it so its expected now....they even do it up here, in some places, but we don't on campus..

http://grumpygardener.southernliving.com/grumpy_gardener/2009/02/what-concerns-p.html

nice thing about not cutting the crepes back is you get stronger branches and the flowers won't droop as much when they get heavy with rain..

http://annaphouse.com/24%20Rockwell%20Court/slides/Crepe%20Myrtle.jpg
http://www.penick.net/digging/images/2008_02_13%20Dallas%20Arboretum/Crepe%20myrtle%20allee%20w%20walkers.JPG
http://www.thecharlestonobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/crape_myrtle_bare.jpg

zturncutter
01-19-2011, 09:52 PM
I trim them by hand with Felco's just to shape and remove seed pods. I have trimmed several in the last week even though we will most likely have another freeze. I have never had a problem pruning them this time of year. The tropicals will wait till the end of February.

MarcSmith
01-20-2011, 07:18 AM
pruning before a hard hard freeze isn't bad. its getting new growth from a warm spell after a prune and then a hard freeze..

abrightday
01-20-2011, 07:38 AM
I like your web page . It is exactly what I am wanting to set up. A place that is informative for customers. I was thinking maybe some videos of pest such a cinch bugs because it seems most home owners do not actual understand how small they are or how to really find them. They see the standard picture which is a close up of them, and think they are 2 inches long.
You have done a good job on the site. One of the best as far as getting information out there that I have seen in a long while. :clapping::clapping:

Thank you, Thank you!!

MarcSmith
01-20-2011, 07:45 AM
Another thing you can do Mike and Able. is to buy ad space in an HOA newsletter and write a Hort related article with a plug for your business at the end of the article. Its one of the things I did in Orlando in my targeted hoods...It was a good return on ad money...

johnsonslawnmanagement
01-20-2011, 07:56 AM
I've been wanting to do some type of informative ad on the proper way to prune CM'S. Too many people around here commit "crape murder."
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gunsnroses
01-20-2011, 09:11 AM
Personally I have never had problems pruning crapes and frost damage...I prune to a minimum myself, like some said, only to clean them up a bit. The only time I heavy prune crape myrtles is when the are creating a problem, because the wrong cultivar was selected and or installed. If you are going to plant a crape myrtle next to a light post or 8 feet from a house....just plant a dwarf. Where I work these fools planted the wrong cultivars all over. Here I am now 7 years after install trying to tame some 20 foot crapes planted around light posts @ 12 feet. Anything in a wide freaking parking lot....by all means let her rip. I crack up at the DOT guys wackin back to 4 feet every year in the middle of huge ramp areas off the highway. Back to topic, has anyone on here seen or killed a crape due to timing of pruning? I dont think I have ever even seen an established plant die for any reason.

zturncutter
01-20-2011, 09:19 AM
I never have, I'm sure it probably has happened but even some of my older customers who insist on cutting them to the ground each year (they do this themselves, I won't do it) do not manage to kill the plants. They just don't bloom as well as the plants are just trying to add foliage.

MarcSmith
01-20-2011, 09:40 AM
They just don't bloom as well as the plants are just trying to add foliage.

you nailed it right there..

if you whack a crape back, now its trying to regrow wood, then grow new leaves on that new wood and and flower on that new wood... if you properly prune. the crepe is adding leaves to existing wood, flowering and adding some new wood.

You'll get a much better show... doing it properly.

fl-landscapes
01-20-2011, 11:39 AM
you nailed it right there..

if you whack a crape back, now its trying to regrow wood, then grow new leaves on that new wood and and flower on that new wood... if you properly prune. the crepe is adding leaves to existing wood, flowering and adding some new wood.

You'll get a much better show... doing it properly.

yup only so much carbohydrates to support the plants life and it prioritises where to spend its energy and photosynthesis is priority over reproduction. Over pruning will also pull carbs away from important root developement as well as blooms.

abrightday
01-20-2011, 03:46 PM
Personally I have never had problems pruning crapes and frost damage...I prune to a minimum myself, like some said, only to clean them up a bit. The only time I heavy prune crape myrtles is when the are creating a problem, because the wrong cultivar was selected and or installed. If you are going to plant a crape myrtle next to a light post or 8 feet from a house....just plant a dwarf. Where I work these fools planted the wrong cultivars all over. Here I am now 7 years after install trying to tame some 20 foot crapes planted around light posts @ 12 feet. Anything in a wide freaking parking lot....by all means let her rip. I crack up at the DOT guys wackin back to 4 feet every year in the middle of huge ramp areas off the highway. Back to topic, has anyone on here seen or killed a crape due to timing of pruning? I dont think I have ever even seen an established plant die for any reason.

I have a customer in Deland Florida who cut back his in January, they were about only 10 - 15 feet tall. It was hard freeze the next night,,fried them, they did not come back.

Florida Gardener
01-20-2011, 04:28 PM
It amazes me how ignorant homeowners and a lot of landscapers are. It is like they have to cut something, even if they can't give you an educated reason why they are doing it.
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Landscape Poet
01-20-2011, 06:22 PM
Another thing you can do Mike and Able. is to buy ad space in an HOA newsletter and write a Hort related article with a plug for your business at the end of the article. Its one of the things I did in Orlando in my targeted hoods...It was a good return on ad money...

Thanks, that is one of the few advertising methods that I think I am actually going to do this year. My HOA has roughly 750 homes - so I figured since I really can not expand much more than where I am now, might as well pick up the ones in the neighborhood.

GunnPropertyServices
01-20-2011, 08:46 PM
is there a way to control or limit new branches from forming from the base of Crapes, i have a couple properties that just wont stop once trimmed they seem to grow back over night in the growing season.

abrightday
01-21-2011, 09:48 AM
is there a way to control or limit new branches from forming from the base of Crapes, i have a couple properties that just wont stop once trimmed they seem to grow back over night in the growing season.

Instead of cutting them off, break them off, they'll tear off right at the base,, they won't come back as fast, and when you cut them off 2 or more will sprout out,,breaking only the one stem will eventually emerge. As for completely stopping them,,there is no way I no of. www.YourLandscapePro.com

GunnPropertyServices
01-22-2011, 08:59 PM
Thanks for the info

sweetz
01-24-2011, 10:09 PM
How I trim them varies from one property/location to another. I just focus on not trimming more than 1/3 of the plant. I really don't think that there is a right/wrong way to trim or not to trim Crepe's, I think it boils down to personal preference. Basically like other plants, it's the customers choice.

gunsnroses
01-25-2011, 10:26 AM
http://joa.isa-arbor.com/request.asp?JournalID=1&ArticleID=176&Type=2


This link is a great way to understand what happens to a topped crape myrtle... for those interested.

sweetz
01-25-2011, 12:34 PM
How I trim them varies from one property/location to another. I just focus on not trimming more than 1/3 of the plant. I really don't think that there is a right/wrong way to trim or not to trim Crepe's, I think it boils down to personal preference. Basically like other plants, it's the customers choice.

I don't top them to a ridiculous level, I either pollard cut them or just cut them back a little to cut the seed heads and stuff off. Like I said, it depends on the location. with the 1/2 - 1/6 acre lots that are so common in this area there is not room to let the big crepe's grow to a natural size. A while ago when I still worked for the school board, they had some crepe's planted along the street/entrance way and you had to top/pollard cut them for access & visibility reasons. Like I say, like with most other plants, it depends on the location.

Landscape Poet
02-08-2011, 12:28 PM
Here is a photo Rob7233 next to a murdered crape we spotted while we were out last week.






http://a3.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/181772_202431443105083_100000146856528_887406_2430336_n.jpg

rob7233
02-08-2011, 10:15 PM
Christ, I've had better pictures of me taken before.... Thanks, Michael

Now the big question:
Does anyone know how and when this custom of pruning Crepe Mrytles real hard all began?

Landscape Poet
02-08-2011, 10:37 PM
Does anyone know how and when this custom of pruning Crepe Mrytles real hard all began?

I am not positive but I am taking a guess it was about the time when first commercial landscape crew was invented.

By the way your welcome for the photo.*trucewhiteflag*

sweetz
02-09-2011, 02:38 AM
Christ, I've had better pictures of me taken before.... Thanks, Michael

Now the big question:
Does anyone know how and when this custom of pruning Crepe Mrytles real hard all began?

Nope, fill us in.

rob7233
02-09-2011, 11:34 PM
One might even guess that it started in the Garden of Eden, when Eve saw the snake in the tree and all that trouble started. Well, that tree was said to be a Crepe Mrytle and it's been cut short ever since so no more snakes can hide .... :dancing:

Patriot Services
02-10-2011, 08:34 AM
Yea, Eden was perfect until Eve had to eat that damn apple. I throw that at the wife every now and then.
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