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How To Prune Crape Myrtles Without Murdering Them | NatureHills.com

crepe myrtles require a little pruning

as a matter of fact every few years

thinning out all the small

branches in the middle of the canopy is

about all that's needed and then a

slight topping to control the height

crepe myrtle is a beautiful tree without

any pruning at all heading cuts for

topping the tree really makes for an

unsightly canopy very unnatural okay

let's talk about the essential tools for

pruning your crape myrtle number one eye

protection

number two good pair of gloves nice pair

of pruning shears a good tree saw I like

this one because it's folding a good

pair of loppers for your larger cuts and

for your larger more established trees a

nice tree pruner is a good idea here's a

young tree form dynamite crape myrtle

let's take a look at how simple this

tree needs to be pruned to make it look

great next year so first when pruning

your crape myrtle always start out low

look to the lowest point to see what you

want to remove and work your way up the

trunk looks smooth and clean but here is

this old stump that needs to be removed

okay first I'm going to remove some of

this twig your growth all this small

growth can come out

okay I'm going to take our saw and cut

this in at an angle okay now we'll

continue to take out some of these

smaller limbs always leaving a little

bit of a collar just a small collar

don't ever cut flush on the tree some

cases on a crape myrtle you can even

just break them off any limbs that go

inward like that should be removed as

well we're crossing legs there's not

much you need to do on a crape myrtle

really what we're trying to do is just

expose the trunk make that trunk you

look make that beautiful trunk part of

the character in the tree many cases on

a crape myrtle just you can take and

just rub your hand down the tree and

actually knock those little pesky

laterals off like that and then if you

want you can take you just cut back real

simply the old flower head and remove it

here's a nice close-up of what we just

did

cut the old little stump off made a

clean nice angle we cleaned up all of

the little growth on the trunk what

we've really done is just exposed the

beautiful bark inside the canopy and

really left the entire top of the tree

almost untouched other than just cutting

back the flower heads okay let's recap

what we do when we're pruning a crape

myrtle number one is let's select the

right size plant there are so many

varieties of crape myrtles now with so

many different sizes that if you choose

the right size plant for the location to

begin with it'll eliminate how much

pruning you have to do in the long run

definitely number two first and pruning

start from the bottom and work your way

up decide what needs to be done from the

bottom up

then look for dead diseased crossing or

rubbing limbs our ultimate goal is to

take and open the tree up for sunlight

and air circulation allow plenty of air

and sunlight in to cut down the

incidence of disease and last you can

cut off the bloom head right below where

it set that season or on some varieties

actually cutting it off at the end of

the summer time when it starts to take

and and slow down its blossom is

actually a way to take a get it to

rebloom in the latter part of the

summertime wonderful little addition to

a lot of the new varieties so the crape

myrtle they're really cool they have a

wonderful bloom and actually get the

prune them during the winter time I mean

what more could you want

crape myrtles