Yes, it is time again to talk about Crape Murder. The act of poorly pruning the beloved tree of the South, the Crape Myrtle.
Speaking of the time…
Now IS the ideal time in our region of the South to prune Crape Myrtles. If now isn’t good for you, you can still make corrective pruning as late as March or April.
How does Crape Murder happen?
Many crape murders are committed by cutting back on the same location of the main trunks every year. Cutting back in the same spots causes knots to develop on the trunks. These knots are not only unattractive, but they also contribute to weakness in our trees.
Some often chop their trees to a height of around 4-5’. If your Crape Myrtle is too tall, you can prune it back down to a more appropriate height, but not every year!
It is true that some of these practices will lead to many new shoots and lots of blossoms. Unfortunately, these new shoots will be very weak. Weak shoots can’t support heavy blooms and they will droop and weep from the strain. This is Crape Murder.
Why are we so compelled to murder?
Many times, crape myrtle trees need severe pruning because they are planted in improper locations.
If you are considering planting Crape Myrtles, here are some tips:
- (This is a big one) Where you plant your Crape Myrtle make it or break it.
- Crape Myrtles need lots of sun but not a lot of water to live in our area.
Pruning tips so that you don’t commit Crape Murder (click the links to learn more from our #askpaul series):
1. Remove branches that cross one another
2. Trunks that cross are an issue. One has to go.
3. Remember, it’s a tree NOT a bush. It should look like an umbrella from a distance.
You can still turn your life around!
There’s no need for you to commit Crape Murder ever again. While Lawn and Pest Solutions does not offer a pruning service, we want to help you maintain a beautiful lawn.
We offer a systemic treatment that includes lawn fertilization and insecticide, which helps it flourish but also helps them fight disease (like Crape Myrtle Bark Scale). This plan can be added to your Plant Health Care program at Lawn and Pest Solutions.
We have customers from the Memphis, TN area to all over North Mississippi. Our licensed technicians are ready to assist you. You can contact us here for a quote.