Pruning Wax Myrtles - Knowledgebase Question

Chesapeake, VA
Question by beachvetterk
April 29, 2000
I would like to know when the proper time to start training wax myrtles. They have only been in the ground about 1 month and are only about 2 feet tall. I want them to grow to about 16 feet tall; I want to prune the bottoms up to about 6 feet tall and have the bush part from 6 feet to the 16 foot mark.


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Answer from NGA
April 29, 2000

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Wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera or M. carolinensis) grows to a height of about 30' if left unpruned. Pruning should be done in late winter or early spring. Since the plant can naturally be quite shrubby, you'll want to reduce the number of main stems to one or just a few, so the plant will form a main trunk or group of trunks. Don't prune off too much at first, because the plants need the leaves to manufacture its food.

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