Asked on Jun 11, 2015

Crepe mytle will not die!

Hope Williams
by Hope Williams
We took down a crepe myrtle tree. It keeps popping out new shoots all along the root system. Way out into the yard. I've been digging roots for over a year! What can I do to kill this thing once and for all!?? Using Epsom salt & vinegar to help with trunk. ( I can't grind b/c of location.)
  5 answers
  • Lisa Lisa on Jun 11, 2015
    The only way to kill a crepe myrtle is to have the stump removed. I have one that kept coming back too.
  • Kate Kate on Jun 11, 2015
    In a battle between a tree and thee, the victory goes to whomever is most persistent. I know this first hand. The tree never gets impatient and frustrated. It just keeps sending up shoots, determined to be a tree again. But....the root system eventually needs light. That's what the shoots are seeking. Cutting them down during a lawn mowing doesn't work, because they still get light. Mowing actually strenghtens the growth. You need to break off the shoots at the ground. Usually, they're tender enough to do this easily by hand. One by one. Often. Like, every few days, at first. Yes, it's annoying and tedious and seemingly takes forever. But it does work. And it's free. I had a forty foot tree whose roots were everywhere. Hundreds of shoots. The first couple of weeks was the worst. But the number of shoots seemed to quickly reduce as long as I was persistent. By the end of the summer, it was down to a manageable dozen or so shoots. The next spring, some shoots kept trying, but eventually, they gave up, too. Who knows? Maybe the tree only gave up sending up shoots in my yard, and moseyed its roots way down the block to a neighbor's yard, who just can't figure out what the heck is popping up all over his lawn. Good luck, Hope..
    • Hope Williams Hope Williams on Jun 11, 2015
      I give it about 4-5 days to sprout. Then I get my 10th shovel and commence to digging the whole root! As far in whatever direction it takes me. Thank you for the support.
  • Nancy Spencer Carlson Nancy Spencer Carlson on Jun 12, 2015
    Thanks! I have a buckthorn that will require this little bit of persistance...
    • Hope Williams Hope Williams on Jun 12, 2015
      Persistence is one thing. Crepe myrtle is another! lol Digging roots for it is also digging roots from 6 other trees in that area that we also had removed. Hope 0, crepe 1! Good luck with yours too!
  • Buster Evans Buster Evans on Jun 12, 2015
    You might try cutting the root completely in two at each of the new sprouts.. then remove the sprout as previously suggested... by doing this it cuts the sprout root off from the main stump and eventually the roots will die out... hopefully..
    • Hope Williams Hope Williams on Jun 13, 2015
      That's what I've been attempting. I guess I'm looking for a safe chemical concoction to help.
  • After 7 years, I have crape myrtles that pop up. They also seed and seeds can last for years. so you may not be battling a root system of sucker plants but years of seeds germinating. It is just easier to take a shovel and dig them out and eventually you will succeed.