It's the time of year where you may notice your neighbors and other landscape companies starting to prune crape myrtles and were wondering if we may have forgotten yours. We're almost certain you've seen others cutting back the crape myrtles back to ugly stumps, also know to some as "crape murder".
When a crape myrtle is cut back this way, it has 2 effects:
Cuts back the amount of healthy flowers it will produce in the summer months.
Newer branches won't be able to hold the weight of the blooms due to growing too long and weak especially when wet. These long branches bend over and can break off during heavier rainfalls.
When a crape myrtle is pruned properly, it has 2 positive affects:
Produces double the amount of branches and blooms as the year before.
New healthy branches can now support the new blooms.
We figured it might be helpful to our clients to have some tips on when and how to prune crape myrtles in Citrus County Landscaping to promote a healthy tree:
Try to prune later in winter, February is ideal.
Cut off suckers from the bottom, rubbing and cross growing branches and branches growing inward.
Gradually cut off all side branches from the main base as the tree gets taller.
Never leave lone or clustered stubs.
Be sure to remove unwanted branches before they get too thick (thickness of a pencil).
Although unnecessary, you can cut off old seed heads.
It's our goal to maintain the tree's natural form and to help promote strong branches that will hold the blooms upright.
When crape myrtles are cut back to the stubs each year it really prevents the tree from having a natural appearance. In our opinion the chopped off branches would be more suitable for a hat rack or fence post. Each hacked off branch will grow "medusa" like tangled branches often too weak to hold the blooming flowers.
Proper Pruning Techniques
Here at Citruscapes Lawn & Landscaping we practice healthy crape mrytle pruning to promote healthy growth of the tree. See the image below for a more proper and healthy way to trim your crape myrtles in Citrus County.
If you'd like help with your Citrus County Crape Mrytle trimming in the future, call us at (352) 220-6065 or email our office at email@example.com. We would love to help you out!