RE: [gardeners] Crape myrtles

Dorsett (
Sat, 13 Apr 2002 17:57:32 -0500

Are they all the same variety?  Is there any suckering or growth near the
base of the plant?  Maybe your plants are supposed to grow straight up,
looking like trees...and maybe you won't want to prune them after all
because they're growing just right for the location...or maybe a light
shaping will be enough, and you can enjoy those plants as they are.

See, crape myrtles can grow into different shapes.  Some resemble tall and
straight trees; others are short and rounded, looking more like shrubs.  The
planting scheme along the sides of your lot sounds as if that batch might
have been intended as a hedge or windbreak.  Those previous owners may have
selected for plants that naturally have a tall, tree-like shape...because
that shape best fitted windbreak purposes.

Some information about crape myrtles....
Pruning guideline:

Barb in Southern Indiana  Zone 5/6
  Each garden has its own surprise.  Susan Allen Toth
              My Love Affair with England (1992)

> One other question - we have about 20 crape myrtle trees that were planted
> along both sides of our lot and scattered in the front yard -
> they're around
> 10-12 feet tall and doing well - but they're all growing pretty much
> straight up - no rounding at all. Should we be pruning them to get them to
> round out some? I've pretty much left them alone since we moved
> here 3 years
> ago - just composting around the bases and mulching them each year.
> Thanks for any suggestions.
> billie in NC