Top Questions About Crape Myrtle Trees

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Questions About Crape Myrtle Trees

Asked by
Anonymous on
November 7, 2010

Q. When to Prune Back Crape Myrtles

I have over 30 crape myrtles on my property. I like to keep them cut back to about 5 feet so I can enjoy the blooms without having to look up. I’ve heard fall and early spring. I like my landscape to look fresh during the winter, so is it OK to prune them back now?

Answered by
Heather on
November 7, 2010
Certified Expert
A.

If you prune right now, you will diminish next year's blooms. The tree has not entered a solid state of dormancy yet and pruning now could bring it back out of dormancy and make it susceptible to cold damage. If you wait until mid-winter to early spring (between Jan 1st to mid March) it will be better. Here is an article to help: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/trees/crepe-myrtle/best-crepe-myrtle-pruning-time-when-to-prune-crepe-myrtle.htm

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Asked by
Anonymous on
November 11, 2010

Q. When to Prune Crape Myrtle

What is the best time to prune crape myrtle? We live in Napa Valley,   California and get some freezing temps in January and early February.

Answered by
Heather on
November 17, 2010
Certified Expert
A.

Regardless of where you live, the best time to prune is in late winter or early spring. This article will help:
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/trees/crepe-myrtle/best-crepe-myrtle-pruning-time-when-to-prune-crepe-myrtle.htm

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Asked by
Anonymous on
November 21, 2010

Q. Black Leaves on Crape Myrtle

We have several crape myrtles on our church grounds. Also, the church is in Orange Beach, AL and is about 1. 5 miles from the Gulf Coast. They are approximately ten feet tall and they do not have many leaves on them. The leaves that are on them have some type of black stuff (mold or fungi) on them. What can be done to save these trees? Will pruning and spraying with some type of fungicide cure them and allow them to thrive? Need to save all of these trees. . . would cost quite a bit to replace because we have about 75 on the property.

Answered by
Nikki on
November 22, 2010
Certified Expert
A.

This is sooty mold, a common problem with crepe myrtle trees. Here is an article that you may find helpful: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/disease/how-to-get-rid-of-sooty-mold.htm

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Asked by
Anonymous on
December 23, 2010

Q. Myrtle Trees

My trees are 10 years old and the knots on each branch where they have been pruned every year have gotten very large and sprout dozens of new branches each spring. Can I trim below these knots [closer to the ground] to reshape the trees?

Answered by
Nikki on
December 24, 2010
Certified Expert
A.

You should be able to, but without knowing the exact shape of the tree, we would not be able to tell you how this would affect the future shape of the tree. It would be worth it to have a landscaper who is experienced with crepe myrtles come and look to make sure that the tree will retain a pleasing shape if this sort of pruning is done.

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Asked by
Anonymous on
December 30, 2010

Q. Hard Pruning Crepe Myrtle

I have three wild crepe myrtles that have reached full maturity. They have never been pruned. The problem is that the flowers shed into my neighbor’s pool and cause a problem with their pool pump. I need to prune them back about 15 feet. They are presently 30 feet on average. I need to know how to go about this without damaging the trees.

Answered by
Nikki on
December 31, 2010
Certified Expert
A.

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.

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Asked by
Anonymous on
January 5, 2011

Q. Black Bark on Crape Myrtle Tree

I had problems with aphids this past summer on my crape myrtle trees. I treated it, but on one tree, black bark remains. I just pruned them back, but there is still some black bark on one tree. Will this damage the tree if I leave it, and will it influence growth and blooms this summer? I also have some Mexican heather planted at the base, and I have black leaves on some of them. Same problem? And what should I do?

Answered by
Nikki on
January 6, 2011
Certified Expert
A.

It sounds like you may have some sooty mold left over from the pest problem (these two issues normally go hand in hand). The sooty mold will not hurt the plants, though it does make them look unsightly. In the spring, apply a fungicide to the areas. This should help clear it up and make it look better.

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Asked by
Anonymous on
January 7, 2011

Q. Crape Myrtle Pruning

Can crape myrtles be pruned back when they are dormant? Some say I can, and some say not to. This time of year in Florida I see a lot of them pruned. Could you please let me know.

Answered by
Nikki on
January 7, 2011
Certified Expert
A.

You can prune them while they are dormant. Some people prefer to wait, as pruning while dormant can decrease the blooms in the next season, but it will not harm the plant.

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