Friday, January 6, 2012

Prune Your Myrtles

January is an excellent time to prune many trees and shrubs, including crepe myrtle, because most are in a dormant stage. Some exceptions include dogwood, flowering cherry and peach, redbud and azaleas.

That said, let's get back to that Southern favorite...the crepe myrtle!

The most important thing about crepe myrtle pruning is realizing that crepe myrtles should never be butchered. Don't fall victim to CREPE MURDER! The goal is to maintain the natural form of the crepe myrtle. It's important to do an annual pruning to ensure that branches provide enough strength and are fully capable of holding the flowers in their most spectacular upright display. Proper pruning also requires a thinning out that will reveal the smooth, multi-toned bark on mature trunks and branches.

If you do make the inexcusable mistake of butchering your crepe myrtles, then the above scenario is impossible. What you will end up with is a tall stump with some spindly growth too week to hold up the heavy floral display the crepe myrtle is known for.

Keep in mind that pruning isn't a haphazard application, and it always helps to get the eyes of a professional on your trees. Why take chances when it comes to your curb appeal?

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