|I would like to get my crepe myrtle to more tree-like than a bush. I don't know when to prune it. After winter, it's hard to tell what will leaf out and what has winter kill. When it flowers, the blooms hold so much water after a rain, that the branches droop like a willow. After the blooms, the branches hold pendulous hard berry-like seeds. When do I prune it, and how?|
|You can prune your crepe myrtle immediately after the flowers are spent and before they develop seeds pods. You can train your plant into a tree form by removing all but a single stem which you can train into a trunk by removing the lower branches and leaving just a topknot of growth. Training into a tree shape won't eliminate the problem of rainsoaked flowers and foliage - the branches will still droop under the weight. And, crepe myrtle trees won't be quite so winter hardy as shrubs. With a shrub, if winter weather kills it down to ground level, it will grow new stems. With a tree, if winter weather kills it down to ground level, it will grow new stems but it will look like a shrub rather than a tree. Perhaps the best approach is to allow it to grow as a shrub and plan on removing some of the flowers as they develop to keep the branches from becoming too heavy and drooping under the weight of the rain.|
Best wishes with your crepe myrtle!