As Mardi Gras season is upon us so is pruning our Crape Myrtles. On a drive in to work you will see numerous ways crape myrtles are "pruned."
Sadly, most of these crape myrtles are improperly pruned. This is a copy cat horticultural crime. We see how our neighbors prune their trees and people copy that action. These trees turn out to be "crape murdered" with their tops being completely removed. Rule of thumb for all pruning is to not remove more than 1/3 of living tissue.
Pruning too much off our trees stresses them and encourages Powdery Mildew and Bark Scale pest infections.
The goal for any pruning is to open up the branches to encourage airflow, remove the crossing or dead/diseased branches. For crape myrtles, remove the suckers at the base ensuring a more tree like shape. Also, pruning can be done to lift the tree so it is easier to mow under as well as removing branches off of structures.
Contrary to popular belief the previous buds do not need to be removed for new blooms.
If you have any questions or would like assistance with pruning your crape myrtles give us a call. 318.455.4758.