If you’ve been hacking off the top of your crepe myrtle, you’re guilty of “crepe murder.” Crepe myrtles need pruning, but if done incorrectly, you’ll end up with a knotted, disfigured tree that spoils the look of your yard.
Proper pruning should go unnoticed to keep these graceful trees looking natural. Start slowly and prune less in the beginning. You can always go back and cut more.
Trees will bloom with vibrant color when properly pruned.
5 Steps to Prune Crepe Myrtles:
- Remove new branches called suckers coming up from the base. Continue cutting suckers throughout the season.
- Cut side branches growing from the main trunks up to 4′ off the ground. Don’t leave stubs.
- Prune all branches above 4′ growing toward the center of the tree. Always cut back to a larger branch of the trunk. Don’t cut to see over branches, but to see through them.
- Cut off branches that cross each other, rub against the trunk or are dead.
- Lastly, step back, look for and cut off any distracting branches growing at awkward angles.