I have two crape myrtle trees that are approximately 15-18 feet tall and are approximately 40 years old. They currently rise above and through my power line. I would like to trim them back so that they will get thick and bloom close to the ground. To do this, I will have to butcher them back to where the current foliage is about 6-8 feet tall. Will cutting them this drastically damage the tree?
Crape Myrtle Trimming
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Crepe myrtles can easily take this kind of pruning without endangering the tree. We normally advise against this kind of pruning, as it can deform the tree visually, but it sounds like you do not have a choice. Prune it in late winter or early spring and cut out the branches you need to with a sharp clean shear or saw, depending on the thickness of the branch.