How to Prune a Crape Myrtle Into a Tree

Views: 20582 | Last Update: 2009-03-27
Crape myrtle trees can be pruned to look more like trees, and the first time that they should be pruned is in the middle of the winter. Prune out any growth that doesn't look healthy on a crape myrtle tree with help from a sustainable gardener in this... View Video Transcript

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Yolanda Vanveen

Video Transcript

Hi! This is Yolanda Vanveen and in this segment we're going to talk about how to prune a crape myrtle into a tree. Now, a crape myrtle is a beautiful shrub that has nice, softy green colored fulled and it's just a beautiful beautiful plant, and it grows very bushy, but you can prune it so that it grows to look more like a tree and there's lots of different ways that you can do it. The first time that you should prune your crape myrtle is in the middle of winter. So you wanted trim out the dead branches and you want to prune out any of the growth that doesn't look healthy, and prune it back maybe one third, so that when it gets the new suckers they'll be even stronger. So, once you trim it back, you don't want to trim it too much either, and if it's been trimmed heavily the year before, you might even want to skip a winter. But the first time you prune it, make sure it's in a dormant stage, and you just prune out some of the dead growth, make sure there's at least 3 or 4 main branches and trim out some of the extras. So, in the spring when they have lots of new suckers and new growth on it, you want to trim out all the bottom branches and the bottom suckers, so that all of the growth will go to the top of the plant, and then you want to go up the plant, and for every 5 or 7 suckers you want to trim it down to 2 or 3 main strong suckers. The most important growth is towards the top of the tree 'cos you want height. So, you want to cut out some of the smaller suckers that are kind of whippy and just leave 2 or 3 main suckers towards the top of the bush, and let them grow, and let 'em grow, and in that way it'll grow into a tree, and as soon as you, and as long as you keep trimming it back and trimming it around every winter and spring, you can keep it growing pretty tall and it won't look like a bush. Your crape myrtle will look like a tree.