My crepe myrtles have yet to produce leaves this summer. They are 3 years old and have always started showing signs of life later than anything else in my yard. Due to the brutal winter we had here, I am afraid that they may not of made it. Is there a way to tell if they will start blooming or if they are dead? Thanks!
Unfortunately, they may have succumbed to Ole Man Winter. To find out if they're still alive, start with the trunk, scrape some bark away to see if you can find green tissue - if you can, that's life. Then try the branches; starting at the tip, bend a branch - if it snaps apart and is brown inside, its dead; if it bends, and there is some green and/or moist tissue inside, it's still alive. If there's life in the trees, you can prune off the dead branches, and hope they right themselve. Even if the whole tree is dead, there's a possibility it will send up live shoots from the roots, so don't be it a hurry to dig up the stumps