Scientifically known as Lagerstroemia Indica, crepe myrtle is a tree that is best suited for a small garden, backyard or patio. It can stand both dry and Mediterranean conditions, which makes it one of the most sought-after trees by the households. A deciduous plant, the tree is usually chosen because of its amazing flower display in the summer season. It has a unique flower color among other trees, non-aggressive roots and a small size, which makes it an impressive choice when it comes to choosing a particular tree species. One of the major disadvantages of crepe myrtle tree is that if left to grow, the tree takes an unruly shape. To avoid this, pruning should be done regularly. Pruning helps turn a crepe myrtle into a beautiful bush or a tree with a well-defined crown and a thick, healthy trunk, which would have otherwise grown into long spindly limbs, without providing much shape to the plant. Crepe myrtle, when pruned during the early spring season help you get better results. In the following lines, we have provided tips on how to prune crepe myrtle trees.
Pruning Crepe Myrtle Trees
- It is important to fertilize your crepe myrtle trees before pruning them. Fertilize them about a week before pruning. Make sure to remove any small plant or mulch from the surface around the tree. Cover the area around the tree with an inch of sifted compost.
- Early spring season is the best time for you to prune your crepe myrtle. At this time of the year, the plants are surging with nutrients rushing to fuel growth and blossom. As such, pruning the crepe myrtle during this time will maximize its natural immunity giving itself protection against any diseases.
- The process of pruning crepe myrtle is similar to pruning other plants. It is better to always cut the above part or the forward tip of the branches. Make sure not to leave a bare stem between a leaf and branch node. Do not cut straight across the branch, but at an angle of 45 degrees.
- It is advisable not to cut the branches back too radically. It is better to clip up to a third of the length of the branch tip you are cutting. The clipping of the branches will prevent the limb from growing on as a long thin branch. Rather, it will encourage a lateral growth and superior blooms. Cutting the branches far down can adversely affect the shape of the tree, particularly in the winter when it shed its leaves.
- Pruning does not mean that you need to shorten each and every branch. Removing excessive material from any tree will damage the energy level of the plant, affecting its overall verve and rendering it to be more susceptible to pests and disease.
- When you are pruning for shape, create visible curves by increasing or decreasing the length of the branch tip you cut. Make sure you leave protruding spikes that are bare of branches or leaves.