Trimming Crepe Myrtles In Texas
Texas is vast region that has a diverse array of weather across the state. This is why it can be difficult to take care of your landscaping around your yard at a specific time of the year. One consistent time of year that is ideal for trimming crepe myrtles in Texas is during the end of winter around mid February. The cold weather in Texas is starting to warm up and the leaves will start to sprout in a couple weeks. Now is the time to start trimming the excess branches and shape the limbs of your crepe myrtles.
Prune Early in the Year
Crepe myrtles will bloom on new growth, and trimming early spring before they awake from dormancy. Fall trimming is not recommended because it not only creates an unappealing look for winter but also removes the current year’s growth that leads to winter damage. Proper trimming while Crepe Myrtles are young will result in less landscape maintenance when the trees are older can cause the plant to get crowded as it matures.
A healthy, well-structured crepe myrtle will have only a few main trunks. Removing the unnecessary ones first means reducing the overall amount of pruning you need to do.
Framework Your Crepe Myrtles
Crepe myrtles produce multiple trunks and if left untrimmed can become crowded or clustered. For most crepe myrtles you should trim to three, five, or seven main trunks. Trimming the trunks to have ample space to grow will result in growth that is straight and strong.
- Trimming suckers and any additional trunks as close to the soil line as possible.
- This will avoid leaving a dead stub, which is unsightly and a potential entry for insects and diseases.
- Remove low branches – It is recommended branching to begin 6 to 8 feet off the ground. Prune unwanted low branches all the way back to the main trunk.
Finish At The Top
Thin the crown to a good portion of the upper branches. Thinning the crown to improve the tree’s looks and health.
The upper branches look best if they spread in different directions, so remove any that are growing into an area already occupied by another branch.
- Make your cuts slightly above a bud that faces the direction in which you want your new branch to grow.
- Remove limbs that cross back through the plant or rub against each other. Wind movement and growth can cause these branches to wound each other, and you will eventually lose one or both.
Trimming to this method allows better air circulation and sunlight penetration. You will keep the Crepe Myrtles healthy and reduce the possibility for diseases like powdery mildew.
Cutting Weak Growth
Trimming the final cuts will be to prune out any branches or stems smaller in diameter than a pencil. Wood that small on the tree results in weak new growth, also will have a difficult time supporting any flowers.
Be sure to get those cuts in before growth starts in the spring. TLC Landscapes offers a variety of landscape services, including trimming your crepe myrtles and any trees that you may need trimmed.
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Published on February 6th, 2018
Updated on February 15th, 2018