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Crepe Myrtle Trees

Q.Can I cut it off?

Zone 72176 | Anonymous added on March 16, 2020 | Answered

I have a couple crepe myrtle trunks that have knots or joints about three feet above ground level where there are a some shoots growing from. These knots have the appearance of being dead and not much growth from them. The trunk itself appears to be healthy in that the bark has good appearance and lots of spring or flexibility. Is it safe to cut these knots off and if so what would be the process?

Thank you,
Brad McCool

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on March 18, 2020

I suggest cutting the trunks off at ground level. The type of pruning you have is called crape murder. It looks like someone has been chopping the top off every spring. If you like the look of a standard, select the best 3 or 4 trunks and remove the rest at ground level. Of the remaining trunks, remove the lateral branches 1/3 to 1/2 way up the tree. There is no need to prune the top, except to remove dead or damaged branches. Each spring, remove any suckers that grow at the base.


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