What are the Pros and Cons of Crape Myrtle Pruning?
First of all, it is useful to consider the “Four Ds” of pruning, which are prune when plants are, “dead, diseased, damaged, and dangerous”. Yet, we also prune trees for a variety of other reasons such as general appearance or to deal with their having been planted in a location where they may grow too close to a window or under a power line. So what do we do about crape myrtle pruning?
Specific to crape myrtles know that they are deciduous trees that do well without pruning. Yet, as a popular landscape plant they regularly come under assault from loping shears and pruners. Proper crape myrtle pruning is best done as a consistent cultural practice of modest trimming over the lifetime of these beautiful heavy blooming trees.
-Crape Myrtles bloom on new growth stimulated by pruning.
-Thinning out crossing limbs in the center of the crape myrtle improves light and airflow within the canopy.
-Low lying limbs can be a hazard in the landscape and roadways that warrant pruning.
-Pruning crape myrtles can improve their appearance.
-When mature thick trunked crape myrtles are topped the thin new growth may not be able to support their sizable blooms. This is called “crape murder.”
-Excessive trimming increases the crape myrtles risk from diseases and pests.
Limited pruning over the life of a crape myrtle reduces the possibility of them becoming crisscrossing branched thickets susceptible to disease that pokes out eyes and grows into the path of road traffic.