Can I prune newly planted crape myrtle?

gigim(8A SC)March 18, 2014

I have just (like last weekend) planted an Acoma crape myrtle in my garden. It is about 6 feet tall and has 3 main trunks. One of the main trunks has a fork and the inside branch of that fork is growing into the center of the branches and rubbing against one of the other main "trunks". I have read alot about the proper pruning of CM's and think that this branch should be removed above the collar so it will not rub against other branches and will help open up the center of the tree - the question is when to do this prune? I would like to do it earlier (once spring really arrives) rather than later (next year) but do not want to put more stress on the newly planted tree. It does not look like it on the photo but it is planted 5 feet away from everything in preparation for an ultimate 10 foot spread. Ok to prune the branch that rubs and also tidy up the super skinny branches?

This post was edited by gigim on Fri, Mar 21, 14 at 12:01

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wertach zone 7-B SC

Is it still dormant? If yes prune away! When did you plant it?

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 1:42PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

You can prune rubbing, damaged, poorly spaced branches anytime. Go for it!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 1:48PM
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gigim(8A SC)

I planted it this past weekend. Yes, it is still dormant. I was concerned about adding to the stress of being planted by pruning.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 3:22PM
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Yes. If it's dead, damaged or badly placed, get it out of there.

I often prune trees and shrubs when I plant them to decrease the amount of foliage the roots have to support.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 12:06PM
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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

I like the lattice. That's new too isn't it? Don't recall it from your last photo.
Do you plan for clematis for the lattice area?
It will grow happily entwined up into the stair railings so if you think the railings will need painting/staining in the next few years, might want to do it in advance of planting. That way you don't have to chop back vines for several years.
The foliage will help keep the sun effects off the wood so the paint/stain lasts longer.
Clematis has a certain bloom time and span but you can put annual vines like cardinal climber to bring color to an
already bloomed perennial vine.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 9:28AM
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gigim(8A SC)

I would love to plant Clematis on the lattice but it needs to be "removable" as we use that space under the stairs for storage of the wheelbarrow, shovels, potting soil and such. It is actually just hanging on 2 hooks.
I pruned this weekend. I tried to remember everything I had learned and still be on the cautious side. I figure I can always prune more next year. Thanks everyone for "giving me permission" to do what I wanted to do!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 2:26PM
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