How to Trim Crepe Myrtle

how to trim crepe myrtle

As the season of the miraculous blooming of crepe myrtles rolls into place. Your crepe may need pruning. Here is a step by step guide on how to trim crepe myrtle to help it bloom admirably.

In this guide, we will tell you how and when to trim crepe myrtles along with some of the common pruning mistakes which go around town. If you want to know how to get a glorious crepe myrtle this year.

Read along!

Table of Contents

How to Trim Crepe Myrtle – Steps for a Healthy Growth

The miraculous bloom of a crepe myrtle against the crystal summer sky makes you speechless every time.

This bloom does not come easy. There are some non-negotiable things. We have collected all common mistakes and why they should be avoided.

Why Prune in the First Place?

Pruning plays an important role. Although it is not necessary to prune your myrtle every season if it is required you should make sure you don’t butcher your myrtle.

Now logic asks ‘When and how to trim crepe myrtles?’ First, we answer the ‘when’, and then later we will answer the ’how’. Professional advice for trimming a crepe myrtle is mid-February or if you are visiting your garden a little frequently trimming can extend to March.

February is the ideal month for pruning a crepe myrtle tree to avoid winter injuries.
The ideal season for pruning is late winter. The reason is that it is completely leafless at that time of the year and you can easily envision what to cut without injuring your tree.

Getting a good answer to when. The next thing is; necessity. Why should you trim at all?

Pruning your myrtle every time a twig stands out 1 cm against the alignment is NOT advised. If the tree looks perfectly good and has steady growth, you should let it grow substantially.

However, if you do need to trim what is the correct way? Before going to the actual trimming part let’s take a look at different common mistakes people make when they trim.

Crepe Murder and Knees

What is crape murder? And how it earned the respect of being a definite term?

As the name explains a trimming which chops off half of the tree. If it is so damaging why people do it?

The answer is nothing but self-ease. Brutal trimming although easy on the gardener’s part but may cause real damage to the tree. Sometimes recovery is not as complete as anticipated.

Another legit reason for crepe murders can be the wrong choice of the plantation. People usually buy something that is not suitable for the desired environment and they think heavy cropping might do the job of getting things adjusted.

Take a note; no crepe murders.

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Another important mistake that your town folks won’t know. Knees. It is an opening that homes several weaker twigs. These stand out in an unruly fashion making the appearance of the crepe myrtle indecorous. Knees or knotted stumps may result from cutting in the same place every time.

If the cut is regular and deep it may turn into a knee and that is not healthy for the tree. It is like a wound that is injured over and over. You are smart enough to understand how this can be bad for your precious crepe myrtle.

How to Trim a Crepe Myrtle Tree – The Perfect Guide

Before you get your tools and start towards your crepe myrtle there are some important things to keep in mind.

They are listed below.

1. A Well Formulated Structure

An undrafted document is never prime. Same courses with trimming. You need to give two moments thought as to how you want your tree to look.

Plants are live and they also feel bad if you get them shaved. Imagine how would you feel if you want for a layered cut and came out shave headed.

There are a couple of shapes you may consider during the season.

  • Single trunk
  • Natural growth
  • Multi stem

Multi-stem crepe myrtle is appealing. The number of stems is also something to keep in mind. It all courses back to primary mathematics. Odds have better perks than even. An odd number of stems are always appreciable to the eye.

2. Staying Close to Ground

Ever heard of suckers? Well, these fellas are pretty notorious. And you should mark them up in the red list while looking at your garden through a trimmer’s eye.

Suckers are at the bottom of plants. Removing suckers is always a good idea. Examine the lower part of your tree and remove any dead or unruly twigs sometimes you may also come across additional trunks; you have one instruction cut them out.

Additional lower trunks or limbs tend to get nasty as time passes and may result in exposure to insects or diseases.

Good pruning saves you from all these problems. So be careful!

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How to Trim a Crepe Myrtle – Overgrowth Control and Refining Branches

With the first problem resolved let’s take a look at the branches, you need to cut which could hinder the sculptural bloom of the tree.

Branch cutting can be a little challenging especially if you are dealing with unpruned tall trees. So how do you trim crepe myrtle that is too tall?

But how does a crepe myrtle grow enormous? It is usually the result of improper pruning. But don’t worry we will tell you how you can trim an overgrown one.

  • Cut all the side branches which are as high as 4 to 5 feet. Practice this every pruning season for a well-proportioned bark.
  • Crepe myrtle’s heights range from two to twenty feet and the common mistake is the wrong plantation at the wrong place. Make sure you get what height of crepe you will buy.
  • The branches weave their way inward the canopy of the tree.
  • All the branches which are growing at cumbrous angles make the appearance of the tree unappealing
  • All the dead, rubbing branches should go since they don’t resolve anything only backup a clumsy frame.
  • All the branches are bot broader than a pencil’s diameter.

Crest Reshaping

A crowded tree-top might not reward you as you dream. Better sunlight permeation and healthy air circulation play a vital role in maintaining the good health of your tree.

Weak growing limbs which grow in the same place where there is already a good branch needs to be cut. Otherwise, these two will rub against one another causing a loss of an important branch. For a well-aired crown, trim away the branches which cluster towards the center of the tree.

Remember not to top your tree, it will no doubt increase the size of the flower but not necessarily increases the volume of the bloom. To help you understand what topping does, imagine one large flower on each branch.

A Principle to Follow for Cutting Crepe Plant Branches

Branch cutting is challenging. Don’t worry if you make a mistake there is a fair margin for recovery. However, there is a chief principle that should pop up in your mind every time you see the title, how to trim crepe myrtle. This is known as the cardinal rule.

The rule simply states that you go off eradicating the branches which follow a straight path. You can stand underneath the tree to examine which are the straight ones and be super careful while snipping. If you cut the straight branches it will ruin your bloom and it is not likely to return.

The Course of Action for a Healthy Crepe Myrtle

There is always something that is close if not completely ideal to follow for the healthy maintenance of your crepe myrtles. We will encompass every important factor that has a count. Whether you are trimming a crepe bush or tree. The natural shape of the crepe is what can work as a bush.

Removing the lower growth nearest to the ground is equally important in crepe trees and bushes while trimming. Even if you are looking for ways how to trim crepe myrtle bush, you have to keep in mind lower growth can be dangerous if not dealt with.

Remember you have to stay kind and gentle. Don’t go off brutally chopping off everything that comes your way. Removing all the dead branches and pencil width branches and diseased stubs should also be removed to guarantee healthier growth.

Crepe murders can be the end of the story. After that, all promises and swearing will not bring the desired blooms. Cutting away all the shields of the tree makes it vulnerable to diseases during the regrowth process.

The thickness of branches depends on what tool you would use to trim them. Branches that are half an inch thick can be tackled using hand pruners for thicker branches you can use loppers.

Just like dirty tools can infect humans plants are no exception. Make sure that you employ clean and sharp tools while trimming your crepe myrtles.

Editorial Team
The Spadone Home Editorial Team consists of seasoned professionals with extensive knowledge and experience in the domains of Home, Interior Design, Renovation, and Exterior Improvement. Our dedicated team of writers and researchers is committed to delivering well researched content that offers insightful solutions to your home-related inquiries. At Spadone Home, we understand the importance of a well-maintained and aesthetically pleasing home. Our mission is to provide you with practical, step-by-step guidance and expert insights to enhance your living space. Whether you're seeking DIY projects, product recommendations for your house, or interior and exterior design inspiration, our team is here to empower you with the knowledge and advice you need to make your house truly exceptional.