I just moved from AZ. to MS. & we have a bunch of Crape myrtles in front of our home that haven't been cared for in 15 years how do I trim back without killing them?
Ditto on all the posts that suggest leaving them alone, and that they are unkillable.
I know a garden that has large clumps of the stuff... And cutting them back in the shade... Just means that they will never bloom again.
Thinning the clump.... I'm thinking 20 stems +
Thinning is possible, but.... Really doesn't make them look any better...
And... Cutting them back.... Is very unattractive.
People think that they need to cut them back.... Because everybody else in the neighborhood is doing it....
Keeping up with the Jones... Not always the smartest method of gardening.
The way that most of us trim those crape myrtles is very time consuming, and locks us into a pointless task year after year.
If you're lucky enough to have aged trees that don't have all the injuries of repeated cutting back.... Suggest that you live with them a few years.... And don't prune.... Eventually, maybe consider removal, if you don't like them.... They are useless to the pollinators.
Maybe you are talking about next to the house... With the branches scraping the roof?
In wich case... Cut them well away from the house.