Curly Branches On Crape Myrtle - Knowledgebase Question

Alcoa,, TN
Avatar for kchaney4
Question by kchaney4
March 20, 2000
We have a crape myrtle "Natchez" that we planted last spring which did beautifully over the summer. It has continued to stay very healthy-looking, but the branches are doing something strange which I've never seen before. A few of the main branches, as well as most of the "sub-branches" (little skinny branches that are growing off of the main branches), are curling up and in towards the center of the tree in a very curly-que fashion. I'm not sure what I should do about it. Should I prune the little "sub-branches" that are curling but leave the main branches be? FYI: We live on the border of zone 7a and 6b; we've never pruned this crape myrtle before.

Answer from NGA
March 20, 2000
If the branches are flattened and ribbed as well as curled, it could be 'fasciation', a genetic mutation. You can prune to remove these oddly shaped growths. Branches that grow like this are coveted by dried-flower arrangers!

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