Avoid Myrtle Murder: Learn to Properly Prune Your Crape Myrtle

Crape myrtle – also spelled crepe myrtle – is a flowering shrub that livens up any yard. It loves warm, sunny locations and brings a variety of color to your garden. Never heard of it?

My Name Is Crape Myrtle

If you haven’t yet met the gorgeous crape myrtle, you should consider putting this beautiful deciduous shrub into your yard. Its bright flowers range from white to red to brightest purple, and, depending on the species, it can grow anywhere from 2 to 30 feet. They love warmish, moist environments such as you find in the South, and they thrive in areas where summers are hot and winters are mild.

Chances are, though, if you’re wondering about how to prune it, you already have a crape myrtle with which you’re familiar, and are just wondering how best to prune it so it stays healthy and flowers beautifully year after year. Let’s take a look at some detailed pruning steps.

Timing Your Trim

The biggest concern when pruning crape myrtle is timing. Because the crape myrtle’s beautiful flowers appear on new growth, if you wait until after spring growth occurs to prune, you won’t get any flowers that year. Bummer, right? Instead, here’s what to do, according to Southern Living:

  1. Wait until late winter, when the crape myrtle is no longer susceptible to damage from cold snaps and infection, but before it begins to leaf out again.
  2. Use a pair of large lopping shears and a small pair of hand shears, as well as a ladder and pole pruners if needed.
  3. Remove all suckers coming up from the base of the shrub and side branches growing out of the tree’s natural formation.
  4. Also remove all branches that are crossing one another or rubbing, which can open a wound and cause infection.
  5. Adjust the prune job to match the tree’s natural form, using the hand shears to remove smaller branches.

Voila! You have just pruned without murdering Myrtle. Congratulations.

Premier Pruning: Help From the Pros

Not quite sure you’re up to the task of pruning on your own? Call  Premier Tree Solutions, a growing tree removal business based in Atlanta, Georgia. We specialize in a number of areas, including trimming and pruning, tree removal, storm damage control, and cleanup. If you want to prune your crape myrtle the right way, give us a call. We’re always here to help.

If you’d like help caring for your property, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 404-252-6448.