Crape Myrtle Pruning Madison
We had to list this as an separate landscaping service because the crepe myrtle tree is such a beautiful and common one in our state, and therefore pruning is a big issue. Also because many people accidentally mangle these trees every year by pruning them incorrectly.
Also known by the spelling, “crape myrtle”, the crepe myrtle tree requires annual pruning, but far from the chopped off knobs and stumps you commonly see, they actually require a much more sensitive cutting. If you haven’t heard, there is something we in the business call, “crepe murder”. This is when trimmers lop off the tops of the trees leaving horrible looking stumps in their place, and forcing the tree to start off from the beginning when spring starts.
This is very harmful and negative for many reasons. First, it’s bad for the tree and turns a beautiful tree into an ugly, stumpy one. It also hinders the growth of lovely myrtle bark. And lastly, it produces weak limbs that cannot handle the weight of future flowers, and eventually sag to the side until they rest on the ground.
So how exactly do you prune a crepe myrtle tree? Here are some general rules. Cut what you need to cut to keep the tree looking beautiful and the lines of the branches looking clean and going in the same direction. Along those lines, cut all the suckers that grow from the base, cut any branches that criss-cross the insides, cut all the branches that are growing towards the center of the tree, and cut those branches that are crossing and rubbing against the others. Also cut any dead branches. Make sure to cut back to the larger branch of the trunk as well, so you don’t leave ugly looking stubs.
So when do you prune crepe myrtles? Usually the late winter is best. It’s good for the tree if you do it right and at the right time, and may even increase blooming in spring. One thing that it will absolutely do is keep the tree stronger, healthier, and more beautiful for many years to come.
Check out our Hedge Trimming page!