How to Prune Crape Myrtle

Step by step instructions on how to Prune Crape Myrtle the right way.

How to Prune Crape Myrtle
How to Prune Crape Myrtle

By “right way’ We at Landscape Pros mean how we’ve effectively done it over the past 30 years in serving our valued customers in Manassas, VA and the surrounding area of Northern Virginia with full service landscape design and landscaping services.

So let’s get to business…with regards to pruning crape myrtles, it is smarter to let them be than to prune them inappropriately. We’ve all seen over-pruning, when every single year we see many individuals hack crape myrtles back excessively too far, and those appalling “knuckles” or monster “clench hands” when starting to shape. These clench hands develop bigger consistently when groundskeepers and grass care “experts” cut the earlier years branches right to the knuckles.

At the point when all a years ago branches growth are scaled back to their beginning it makes the tree complete two things:

1.         Produce bigger however fewer blooming bunches than it regularly would.

2.         Produce longer branches than it regularly would.

Longer sobbing branches and bigger blossoms groups may sound pleasant, however, maybe not so? In any case, when the myrtle tree is in full blossom those long branches can’t uphold the heaviness of hefty, large blossoms. At that point, a when an unexpected downpour tags along…the branches will sob to the ground and regularly sever. This is Bad. Don’t Worry, it doesn’t need to be that way.

By utilizing the technique Landscape Pros uses for pruning, you can dodge these problems and issues. Additionally, with all things being equal, you’ll be pruning in a manner that will advance twice as numerous branches each developing season – which will result a more full tree overhang and produce twice as numerous sprouts!

At the point when a crape myrtle is pruned appropriately:

1.         It will create double the quantity of branches, and along these lines double the quantity of sprouts as it did during the earlier year.

2.         The new branches will be sufficiently able to help blossoms.

Note: When a crape myrtle has arrived at 5 to 8 years in age and additionally has built up a decent, full covering, the experts at Landscape Pros recommend to typically end pruning on the highest point of the tree.

When is the Right Time to Prune Crape Myrtle .

Wrong season pruning would mean November and December. Try not to let “peer pressure” by neighbors and business cultivating teams get to you. If you trim the crapes over the most recent two months of the year, and in Virginia, we get a warming pattern just after, the trees may really begin putting on new development. That new development will be exceptionally vulnerable to frosty climate. This new development will likewise bring the chilly weather directly into the plant, making unnecessary harm to the tree that ought to rest in torpidity.

Thus, our specialists at Landscape Pros say the best time to prune crape myrtle is in pre-spring or late-winter and only before new growth development arises. We hope this information is helpful in caring for your Crape Myrtle trees.  If not, call Landscape Pros @ 571.535.8622 for assistance.  We will be glad to provide you all your Landscape design and Landscaping Services needed.

Steps To Prune Crape Myrtle Trees

Tools Needed:

  • Bypass Pruners for up to 5/8″ branch diameter 
  • Lopper Pruners for up to 1-1/2″ branch diameter
  • Gardening Gloves recommended
Required Tools

Step 1

Use Figure A below that depicts a 4-year-old crape myrtle tree as it may appear in late winter, while still in dormancy, and before new tree growth has begun to emerge. This tree example has been properly pruned for 3 years and is ready to be pruned for the coming year. If your tree bloomed the previous year, and you didn’t remove the seed clusters, you should see these on some of the tips of last year’s stems. 

In reviewing the diagram more closely you will notice where pruning cuts were made in previous years, and that wherever cuts were made two new branches emerged from beneath the cuts.

How to Prune Crape Myrtle
How to Prune Crape Myrtle

Step 2

Figure B below indicates where to make cuts when pruning your crape myrtle tree. The rule of thumb is to trace down from the top of a stem (from the seedpods if the tree bloomed), to where that stem meets a branch. Using a pair of sharp bypass or lopper pruners make a cut about 6 to 12 inches above the intersection – never below the intersection. 

Alternatively, when deciding where to make your cuts, you can grab the tip of stem and bend it over, making your cut right at the point where the stem starts to bend. Either way, the stub that is left should be strong enough to support the new branches that will emerge just below the point at which you made your cut.

Repeat this process until all stems have been cut as is shown in Figure C below.

Pruning Crape Myrtle
Pruning Crape Myrtle

Step 3

Figure C below shows a crape myrtle that has been properly pruned. All top stems have been pruned to a point 6 to 12 inches above the intersection where the stem meets a branch. Two new stems will emerge from beneath your cuts made. By using this method of pruning you will be promoting twice as many branches every season – which means a fuller canopy and twice as many blooms. 

Crape Myrtle Pruned Correctly
Crape Myrtle Pruned Correctly

Step 4

To further “clean up” your crape myrtle tree, you can also prune any suckers that grew from the base of the trunk and any twiggy growth that emerged up and along the trees main trunk(s). That is all there is to it. Now you can sit back and watch your crape myrtle grow much fuller and produce twice as many flower clusters every season!  Like Us on Facebook

Pruned Crape Myrtle
Pruned Crape Myrtle