Don’t Crape Murder Your Crape Myrtles
Springtime is here and that means ugly, ruthless pruning of crape myrtles can’t be far behind.
Known by many names including heading back, topping, pollarding and hedging, this type of pruning is totally unnecessary. And contrary to popular belief, it does not increase flower production. Instead it weakens the tree, shortens its life and increases its susceptibility to pests.
So what’s the correct way to prune a crape myrtle? Like most trees, a crape myrtle does not actually require any pruning. But if you absolutely must, the correct way to prune any tree is to always cut back to another branch or a bud. This retains the natural shape and the terminal buds, which determine the amount and direction of twig growth. Think of a large flower vase — all branches go up and outward.
Check out our how-to video on pruning at vimeo.com/mysaws/crape. Your crape myrtles will thank you.
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