The Q&A Archives: Crape Myrtle Tree

Question: I just want to double check to make sure that I understand this before I start this process. I want to make sure that my Crape Myrtles are going to grow like trees and not shrubs. Do I wait until they are a certain height before I start taking the new grow off the bottom? Mine are 2-3 feet tall and have a healthy amount of leaves. If I trim the new stuff on the bottom now, will it be a tree or should I wait until the tree grows taller to do this? Will more grow on the top as the plant grows? Thanks, Theresa

Answer: Trees grow taller as they mature so cutting off the lower branches will start the process of development from shrub to tree. You can prune your crepe myrtles anytime during the spring or early summer. The smaller the branch, the easier it is on the tree when it's removed. Once you've cut off the lower branches be sure to check the trunk throughout the growing season for new sprouts. If any develop along the trunk below the canopy, rub them out. If you wait until they're large enough to need pruning off, you'll end up with a scar or wound. Simply rub them out as they appear. Best wishes with your crepe myrtles!

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