when to...

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by TXNSLighting, Jan 18, 2008.

  1. TXNSLighting

    TXNSLighting LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 6,463

    when is it a good time to prune back crape myrtles?! (here in texas) i saw a company do it in december! I always waited til march. Am i doin it to late?
  2. packey

    packey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 556

    Hey while I was in Texas we would normally prune crate myrtles in early march or maybe even feb before they started to wake up for the spring. However I have trimmed them as late as the first of august with good results. They are one of those beurtiful plants that once they are established can tolerate a lot of punishmet. I also know while we were with the school we would prune them at leaste twice a year. Usually the second trim would be the end of june or first of July. It sounds strange but they will blue again if this is done and usually we could get them to bloom for the start of school.
  3. allinearth

    allinearth LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 614

    Generally Feb is the ideal time to prune. It can be done earlier but there is a slight risk of winter injury at the cuts. I have never seen this happen but read it somewhere. If somone calls in Jan for pruning we usually go ahead.
  4. Plant Buyer 83

    Plant Buyer 83 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 176

    I pretty much agree w. what has been said but basically you can prune them any time during the late winter (after sap has moved to the roots) or early spring before growth begins. Basically anytime the tree is dormant.

    Not to give a pruning lesson for Crapes but we try to remove crossing and damaged branches, and shoots that are headed into the middle of the tree. Be sure to cut just outside the branch collar, (the swollen area just past the point where the branch attaches to a trunk). Don’t coat the cuts with anything (seems to be more a homeowner problem these days). If it is a muti-stem Crape we try to keep 4 or 5 main canes and eliminate the smaller canes including any suckers.

  5. Picture Perfect Landscape

    Picture Perfect Landscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 176

    EXACTLY how it should be done!
  6. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    Do Crepe Myrtles bloom on old wood, new wood, 2yr old wood, whats the deal?
    There are very few of them around here so I am not as tuned into them as I would like. Mostly we are just happy to keep them alive.
  7. LawnMastersTx

    LawnMastersTx LawnSite Member
    Messages: 222

    I was over at my Father-in-Laws house this weekend and I noticed his Crepe Myrtles were cut to about 3 foot tall. 4 main trunks on them, but nothing other than that. Is this a good way to cut or should some of the smaller limbs that are growing up off the top of the main trunks be left?
  8. Plant Buyer 83

    Plant Buyer 83 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 176

    Common Crapemyrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) - flowers on on current years growth. Those are your Natchez, Tuscarora, Muskogee, Zuni along with the hundred other cultivars.
  9. v1134

    v1134 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    Most crape myrtles in your area (Sunset,zone 13) are Lagerstroemia indica,
    L.fauriei, or hybrids of the two. All crape myrtles bloom on new wood and should be pruned in winter or early spring to increase the summer flower production. On small shrubby growth to maintain compactness and eliminate
    leggy look, cut the branches nearly to the ground in spring. On large shrubs and trees, cut 1-3 feet back to a larger lateral branch. Aggressive deadheading after first bloom can usually promote another late summer show of color.
  10. allinearth

    allinearth LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 614

    Does anyone know how the lopping of crape myrtles got started? I wince everytime I see one hacked back. I tell my guys to only cut branches smaller than a pencil unless it is cross branches etc. This approach takes more time that using the chainsaw but to me it is correct and saves the form of the tree.

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