Pruning (Not Murdering) Crape Myrtle – Family Plot

Certified arborist Wes Hopper prunes a Crape Myrtle that has previously been “murdered,” or the top has been chopped off. He starts by removing the low hanging branches and twigs that will poke him as he prunes. He throws the debris away from the tree so he will not trip on it as he is moving around while looking up. This Crape Myrtle tree has multiple stems. Some of those stems are crowded so Wes cuts off several of the stems. This opens up the middle of the tree. Wes likes to use hand pruners whenever possible to avoid damaging the thin bark. Wes removes the epicormic growth, or growth that grows secondary like water sprouts. Epicormic growth is weak and loosely attached to the tree. Wes tries to cut the branches he does not want to grow beyond the branch collar. This will keep them from growing. Wes then prunes the upper canopy of the tree with a pole pruner. He removes the old seed pods. He cuts just above a node to allow for future growth. Finally, he cuts back the suckers around the base of the tree.

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Why prune crape myrtles?:
Stopping crape myrtle suckers:
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