crepe myrtles

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by awood0909, Apr 25, 2009.

  1. awood0909

    awood0909 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    I need to trim some crepe myrtles that already have leaves popping up. Is it okay to still trim them back like i normally would before the leaves have appeared?
  2. PerfectEarth

    PerfectEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,734

    yup, you should be fine. A bit late, but not gonna hurt anything. Mine in my backyard just started popping out leaves yesterday.
  3. eaglescout

    eaglescout LawnSite Member
    Messages: 65

    cant kill them, However trim them into a tree the old idea of whacking them down is gone. Trim out all the little suckers up to eye level. Get rid of any branches that rub together, that wil cause disease. Then trim the top into a mushroom shape. Think of the natural growth and you will be fine.
  4. jkingrph

    jkingrph LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 812

    I generally prune, trim mine to a tree form. I remove branches below eye level standing, so I can mow around them with hitting face slappers. They always put out new little suckers and I just walk around and knock then off with my hand while they are still soft.
  5. B&M

    B&M LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 333

    That's what we call a no brainer.
  6. manfromearth

    manfromearth LawnSite Member
    Messages: 68

    no mention of the favorite term, "crape murder". It's what some people call the topping of crape myrtles. I try to educate my clients of all the different types of crape myrtle varieties that are available and to have them plant a type that won't outgrow its space. Personally, I prefer crape myrtles unpruned, except for limbing up and removal of crossing branches (like jkingrph said). For some reason, unbeknown to me, crape myrtle trimming has become a late winter tradition for millions of home owners and maintenance companies. It's a tree, just like a cherry or dogwood, and you wouldn't prune those. Of course, the problem is that crape myrtle varieties that grow 30' X 25' (Nachez, Muskogee, etc.) get planted in a space more suitable to a smaller growing variety (Acoma, Souix, even some of the petite varieties). To answer your question, though....late pruning won't hurt the tree, but it will probably somewhat delay flowering.
  7. CALandscapes

    CALandscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 946

    Again, I'll second your response, manfromearth.

    BTW - my gf is from Mobile, and I notice that the majority of the trimmed/pruned crape myrtles there are "crape murdered." Not sure why; we don't have the same problem here, in New Orleans (thankfully not, it pains me to see it!)
  8. poolboy

    poolboy LawnSite Silver Member
    from earth
    Messages: 2,408
  9. jkingrph

    jkingrph LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 812

    Actually a crape myrtle is a shrub, not a tree, but I prefer to train mine with 3 to 5 major trunks into a small multi trunk tree form, and let them develope a canopy like a tree.

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