Tips For Pruning A Crape Myrtle Tree Correctly

November 8, 2013 | Author: | Posted in Home & Family

Nothing really screams summer-time in the southern US states like the crape myrtle tree in bloom with its pink flower petals pointing up toward the sky. Generally they grow so nicely and their flowers are so long lasting that people will care for them lovingly as they would care for a member of the family. That is except for the late fall when it is the best time to prune them.

Sadly many people are clueless about the damage they are doing to them as they cut them back to almost nothing. This often leaves an ugly brush looking stump where there was once a beautifully majestic tree before. Often this not only causes the growth to be stunted on them but can lead to them gaining a sickly bush like appearance.

Just as there is a best time for pruning them there is also a best method to prune them. Often people can cut them back to severely believing this can help produce more flowering limbs the following year. In reality this typically creates delayed flowering, shorter blooming times and weaker branches. Doing this is often as unnecessary as it is harmful for most shrubbery.

Generally late winter or a few months before spring-time is typically best for pruning them. The best method to use is to try enhancing its naturally unique form rather than attempting to force it to take an unnatural shape or form. In a properly pruned tree, the branches will grow up and out not up and then branching into the center.

Look over your trees and follow the trunk and branches upwards. Try to focus more on the interior than the outside edges. Any branches that you find which crosses over other branches in the interior of the trees should be pruned out. You should also remove any limbs that are growing in the wrong directions or is twisted in some strange unnatural way.

To remove a branch, follow it down to where it is joined to the trunk or a larger branch. Where the two parts are connected, you will notice an enlarged place known as the branch collar. Always cut a bare minimum of two or three inches past this point and never flush with the its trunk or branch. Over time this outer part will heal itself leaving little indication of the limb that was removed.

If you have not pruned it before or it has been a while, you could have to remove several limbs. Do not be afraid of this. Remember to try preserving their natural shapes and not hack it all up. Trunks can often be removed next to the ground, though this generally causes suckers to start shooting up during the summer months.

Always cut straight and smooth. If a branch cracks or breaks before you can finish cutting it make sure you treat it with a sealant to protect your crape myrtle tree from insects and rotting diseases. Always take off a little at a time. It is often much easier to cut a little more off than wait two years for it to grow back.

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