Every late winter and early spring, there’s a crime committed against nature. This heinous act is the annual disfiguring of the beautiful and majestic Crape Myrtles. NEWS FLASH! There is no science-based reason to whack the tops of these hardy, flowering trees. Oddly, each beheaded tree reminds me of how Morticia, of the 60s' Addams Family fame, would chop the beautiful blossoms off her rose stems and then arrange the thorny sticks in a vase.
However, some people do like to trim their Crape Myrtles to maintain a desired height. If you prefer a smaller Crape Myrtle, these trees now come in many different sizes, ranging from 12" tall to over 30'. Be sure to consult a professional to choose a size appropriate for the area. Or just contact me at Yardspell.
Personally, I love Crape Myrtles. Their natural, glossy and smooth bark makes me want to stroke them every time I walk past. But when I see those abused, gnarly stumps, I just want to advert my eyes and run.
The above image is an actual Crape Murder crime scene. Here, is how the Dallas Aboretum embraces their Crape Myrtles’ natural beauty. But I'll leave you with my Do's and Don'ts of pruning Crape Myrtles.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Crape Myrtle Pruning.
DON’T prune your myrtles in the summer or fall.
DON’T use dirty, dull pruners. Jagged cuts cause infection.
DON’T feel badly if you don’t prune. Crape Myrtles can flourish on their own.
DO remove any dead or damaged branches any time of the year, as it prevents disease and infection.
DO prune crowded branches from the center of the tree to allow airflow and sunlight.
DO Remove the “suckers”, the new growth nutrient thieves growing around the trunks.
DO Trim off the seedpods after blooming to encourage more summer blooms.