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Crepe Myrtle's blooms are too heavy, breaking branches. Need help ASAP!

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by DillonsLawnCare, Jul 30, 2009.

  1. DillonsLawnCare

    DillonsLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,100

    I have three crepe myrtles that i have to take care of at this one house that i have a landscaping contract on. Everything is going fine, im trimming off all of the new growth down a the bottom and everything is great. We just had about 4 days of rain here, so everything shot up and the new pink blooms on the crepe myrtle got wet, and they are too heavy for the branches. The branches are breaking. Branches are pretty long. They haven't been trimmed since last fall. It looks horrible. Do i just go ahead and trim off the new blooms? Or should i wait? Cause this tree is under a lot of stress just trying to hold up the blooms. I don't want to cut too early and perform a crepe murder........

  2. George D

    George D LawnSite Member
    from wylie
    Messages: 76

    see if you can get something to hold the branches up for right now like planter hooks,lowes has nice ones like 3-8ft tall when your done you remove them til you need them agin or give them to your momfor hanging baskets

    just my .02
  3. DillonsLawnCare

    DillonsLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,100

    That wouldn't work because all the branches are bent over. it would look horrible with a bunch of rope tied between the branches. idk.....
  4. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    We have a clinic with 16 excellently colored Dynamite Crepes. We keep the sucker's off the bottoms by hand and each year, keep the crowns thinned. Doing this to keep the long branches of the parked cars has given way for tall leggy branches that cannot hold enough weight. This last few weeks, the blooms are off the chart with a record year of colorful flowers. We have had immense rains and fluctuant temperatures that have led to our unseasonal thunderstorms and odd weather. To hurry up and answer the question, our branches are heavy too and they are breaking off left and right. Try to keep the limbs picked up after they fall. Take hand trimmers and cut off the torn areas There isn't much to do unless the leader branches are splitting. The one's i am taking about are the ones that are 1-2 inches in diameter. Anything smaller than this will have to weather the over abundance of flowers. My pear trees have more fruit than they can carry, so I had to reduce the weight by taking off the pears before they were ripe.
    I am comparing apples to ornages here, but in this case, the crepe myrtle is resiliant and will be ok. Reassure the customer that this is normal from time to time and just keeping the trees cleaned is all that can be done.
  5. DillonsLawnCare

    DillonsLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,100

    Thank you very much for your reply! It has helped me 100%!!!

    Thanks again!!:usflag::waving::cool2:
  6. jone1212

    jone1212 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    It sounds to me like you already committed murder by over pruning. The rule with Crapes is "nothing fatter than the pinky" A properly pruned crape myrtle doesn't have hanging blooms. Most likely the homeowner or "designer" planted a tree too large for the location. I have my guys first cut all the suckers from the crotch down. Then we prune anything shooting out laterally that might snap from snow. For the top I hop on a ladder with the extended sheers...I like ECHO, and shape it up, only taking it back to the thickness of your pinky. If you have a large crape you should use an orchard ladder.:usflag:
  7. lukemelo216

    lukemelo216 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ...
    Messages: 1,267

    Do yourself a favor and spend some time and learn how to properly prune a tree and shrub. Companies like bartlett tree, davey etc will work with chapters of your local landscape association or extension offices and put on pruning courses. So many landscapers think that the correct way to prune something is fire up the trimmers knock off a few inches on the top, cut down any new growth then walk away and do it again in the fall. As Jone1212 said, and this goes for any flowering shrub, if you prune it correctly your nor going to have an issue with limbs bending over. If you do it may only be one or two.

    And don't be afraid or think that supporting any plant is bad. I wouldn't suggest using twine or rope though. Depending on the size of the plant you can use a really heavy fishing line. Or buy a roll of chainlock tree ties. I have used both. I primarily use the fishing line for hydrangeas and taller perennials (coneflower, blacke-eyed susan etc.) But the chainlock is great. Put a piece around a branch thats falling over - not too tight. Just enough to get it back closer to its original position. Over time it will build up strength and you wont need the support. Just remember that you tied it up and adjust it as needed.
  8. coultman859

    coultman859 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 188

    Hey guys, this thread was over 6 years old...
  9. Atlantic Lawn

    Atlantic Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Outer Banks NC
    Messages: 948

    Newbie raises one from the dead...

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