Crape murder

You don’t have to watch Netflix to observe this heinous crime. On trees.

Crape murder is quite a dramatic statement, isn’t it? It does capture the attention of gardeners and homeowners across the South. And it’s time again. Late January and early February signal aspiring Paul Bunyan’s across the South to gather their weapons.

Before you go chopping away on your crape myrtle trees…

I can’t mention Paul Bunyan and walk away…this link explores whether he was a real man. Whether Paul Bunyan was real or not, he did have a way with chopping down trees, and that’s what we are all here for today. The pruning of our treasured Crape Myrtle trees across the South. 

Crape murder is the practice of pruning your crape myrtle back on the main trunks, often to the same location each year, and often to a height of 4 to 5 feet. The misconception is the tree will produce more new growth the following spring and summer. Many believe this result in more bloom, but it really just means more shoots. Weak shoots that will be weak and will place stress on the tree.

Why do crape myrtle trees need so much pruning?

Many times, crape myrtle trees need severe pruning because they are planted in improper locations. Reminding us of the importance of a good landscaping plan! But if your trees are in need of pruning, don’t commit crape murder, but follow these guidelines:

  • Don’t prune far down onto the main trunks
  • Don’t cut out large sections
  • Remove branches that cross one another
  •  Remove seed pods from last year
  • Allow your crape myrtle to look like a tree
  •  Your crape myrtle should look like an umbrella from a distance
  • If your Crape Myrtle is too tall, you can prune it back down to a more appropriate height, but not every year!

While Lawn and Pest Solutions does not offer a pruning service, we want to help you maintain a beautiful lawn. We have licensed technicians ready to assist you with all of your lawn and pest control needs. We serve Mississippi and Tennessee and are always available to take your calls, texts or messages. You can contact us here for a quote. If the mention of Paul Bunyan has you sentimental, check out these statue locations