Trees and Shrubs forum: Crape Myrtle dying?

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csukraw
May 6, 2018 3:55 PM CST
Hello all, we have a crape myrtle planted in our front yard in the middle of the lawn. It has been there for 4 years now and seemed to be doing ok up until recently. It just started coming out of dormancy and I realized that 80% of the branches are dead. If I scratch the bark I can tell where the green starts and ends and I had to cut almost every single branch down more than half to find green. There are leaves starting to sprout off the lower branch areas where there is still green, but I'm wondering why most of the branches were dry and brittle and dead. My first hunch is that is was getting too much water. That part of the lawn gets plenty of sun, almost all day, but it's at the lower end of the lot and has a lot of clay in the soil. The lawn there doesn't need much watering because the soil stays damp longer than the backyard. Even before this year, every summer, the leaves get brown tips before fall, also potentially another sign of overwatering. It's a small tree about 6 feet tall or so. We're in Southern California.

My question, is what should I do with it? If it really is too damp there, that won't ever change. Can I transplant it? If so, when would be a good time? We have another crape in the backyard that seems to be doing better because the backyard soil dries out more. I have to water the lawn in the backyard twice as much as the front. Maybe we can move this dying one to the backyard?
Thumb of 2018-05-06/csukraw/72204d

Here is it after pruning all the dead branches off.


Thumb of 2018-05-06/csukraw/4196ab

[Last edited by csukraw - May 6, 2018 3:57 PM (+)]
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Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Keeps Horses I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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porkpal
May 13, 2018 11:07 AM CST
It seems unlikely that it is over watered, but I have no other explanation to offer. Unfortunately many people trim their Crepe Myrtles like yours on purpose every year and they recover and bloom. I would wait to see what it does this summer.
Porkpal

csukraw
Jun 11, 2018 8:12 PM CST
Any other feedback?

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