Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by Landscape Poet, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. johnsonslawnmanagement

    johnsonslawnmanagement LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 908

    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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  2. gunsnroses

    gunsnroses LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 266

    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 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.
  3. zturncutter

    zturncutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,308

    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.
  4. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    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.
  5. fl-landscapes

    fl-landscapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,542

    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.
  6. abrightday

    abrightday LawnSite Member
    Messages: 146

    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.
  7. 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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  8. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    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.
  9. GunnPropertyServices

    GunnPropertyServices LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    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.
  10. abrightday

    abrightday LawnSite Member
    Messages: 146

    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.

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