How should crepe myrtles be pruned?

What is the appropriate way and time of year to prune crepe myrtle trees? Many, even supposed yard care professionals prune them in such a way that they become ugly looking and have weak branches. Should they be pruned the same way in different climate?

  4 answers
  • Paula Paula on Jan 05, 2018
    gee i am looking into that too, i just bought my first crepe myrtle tree and when it shipped out to southern california it looked DOA, but then they siad to stratch the trunk and see if it was green or white, mine was dormant. Sofast forward to about a year later and it's been a little cold in Glendale, so it looks dead again. I guess it hasn't got the word it's is a warm climate, but you definetly have very cold weather this year. Remember guys that are mow and blow might not have any training, they just cut trees in a ball shape, have no clue how to prune roses, etc. Just because someone does gardening does not mean they have any education. Sorry to be so blunt, but you get what you pay for, and I pay my guy a fair price and he was trained by a professional Japanese landscaper. A lot of Japanese lost their farms after living in the camps during WW2, so they went into horticulture. make sure your "professional" has certifications. best of luck

    • Hi Paula! I grew up in Glendale, many years ago. Your crepe Myrtle is dormant and it will leaf out in the spring. Mine is a Natchez Crepe Myrtle and is just sticks at the moment. They use them all over Santa Clarita in public landscaped areas as their root system is not invasive, are drought tolerant, bloom beautifully spring through fall. Give it some time. Once established (it can take a year), it will grow quickly. I agree with you about the "so called" gardeners - they are glorified "mow and blow" services - I know more about the plants than they do - and what irks me the most, is that they do not even care to learn.

  • Hire an arborist or qualified tree trimmer. Paula is correct - most gardening "services" are completely untrained, and more bothersome to me, refusing to learn. For example I had a service and told them to "weed the sunflower bed" - you guessed it! They yanked out the sunflowers and left the weeds. See if you find these links helpful.

  • Paula Paula on Jan 05, 2018
    thanks for being my "fan", so far I only had a K-9 following! Since you are in CA, I can not recomend the classes at Armstrong enough, this weekend Sat and next Sat are classes on roses and fruit trees. And not to plug anyone, they guarantee their rose bushes and plants, even a decade later. nice to know about the root system, but i don't know if i should wait to trim the tree until it starts spouting, I just scalped a lemon tree with what i think was whitefly, it was next to a tree hibiscus and those hibiscus are prone to white fly. that guy is in georgia, so i have no clue but i will ask in class...