pruning crepe myrtle - Knowledgebase Question

Charleston, So
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Question by alwass
January 7, 2011
What is the best way to prune crepe myrtle shrubs?

Answer from NGA
January 7, 2011
Crepe myrtles flower on the new growth of the season so late winter/early spring pruning will ensure your plant will bloom right on time. The method of pruning depends upon how long it's been since you last pruned, and how large the shrub has become. In general, you'll wnat to thin out the branches by removing some of the branches either at their point of origin or at a branch junction or "Y", or at ground level. Thin out the oldest and tallest stems first, to allow for growth of vigorous side branches. This method of pruning results in a more open plant and does not stimulate excessive new top growth. Considerable growth can be cut out without changing the plant?s natural appearance or habit of growth. Plants can be maintained at a given height and width for years by thinning out. This method of pruning is best done with pruning shears, loppers, or a saw (not hedge shears).

Once you've thinned out the shrub you can reduce the height and width by removing about one-third of the growth from the top and sides of your shrub.

Best wishes with your project!

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