Will a crape myrtle 'Tonto' provide privacy?

butterfly4uJuly 3, 2008

Hi all,

Last year I bought a small 3 foot crape myrtle tree from Lowes which this year is mabey 4 feet tall, and I was wondering if it will provide privacy for my yard any time soon?

Are they slow growers?

It already has buds all over it, and the leaves are nice and dark green, so it is healthly, planted in full sun on the south side, but I was hoping that I would get a little bit more privacy from it this year.

Does anyone here have a "Tonto" crape myrtle tree?

The sticker on the crape myrtle stated "great sidewalk tree", so I am counting on it growing to 15 feet tall.

If it grows real slow, I will replace it with a faster grower. I really need privacy as soon as possible.

Thanks to everyone in advance!

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I have a 5 gallon Tonto I planted this spring here in Galveston County. They are rated as a mid-size myrtle and I planted it closer to the front of the house where I want to keep it around 10 ft. in height. It's loaded from its base to its 8 ft height with flowers now. I love this "Tonto" but not sure if it wasn't mislabeled as the color of the flowers is the most intense red I've seen, even brighter than my Dynamite, Country Red, and Dallas Red I have along my back fence. I am thinking of propagating it since I am not sure of what I have. I know that nurseries do mislabel as three of my four Natchez have turned out to be pink instead of white. Yes, I often use Lowe's or Home Depot.

I have several Basham's Party Pink, Natchez, and Muskogee that have been in the ground three years and already at 20 ft even though they were only about 8 ft. when I planted them They are becoming really dense shade trees. With narrow 7 foot side yards in my subdivision, they are about the only trees I can plant to shade my house that won't damage my house slab. Hopefully they won't do much, if any, damage in tropical storm winds.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 3:16PM
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Well, if your crapes grew that much mabey there is hope for mine.
My Tonto was a bright pinkish red last year, not really red like yours.
I think I will wait then, and give it another year of growth to see if it grows alot taller.
I have about 25-28 feet along the back chain link fence
that I would like it to grow, but height is what I need.
Thank you for your reply.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 11:48PM
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I have 5 crepe myrtles that have been doing very well for me here in Lancaster County. All of them I bought 3 years ago. One my husband weed wacked to the ground the first year, and it is back up to 4 feet tall. They are very lush, but I do not think I would choose them as a privacy screen. Perhaps if you mixed them with some evergreens they might work better. Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 2:13PM
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That is what I was afraid of.
What do you think of a butterfly bush?
What if I didn't cut it down? Just let it stay tall every year?
Any other suggestions?
I wanted something tall and fast growing.
Evergreen isn't necessary, I am trying to get privacy from my neighbors above ground pool directly behind my house, and no one uses it in the winter.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 11:52PM
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Knowing that it's only for the summer that you need privacy, I might try butterfly bushes. They're relatively cheap, and grow like the dickens, so if you don't like them or if they don't serve your purpose, you can always relocate them and try something else. This is the first year I haven't cut my butterfly bushes back and they are big and sprawling, a little too big for me. But that might serve your purpose. I'd say go for it. Good luck. By the way, I don't know where you are in SEPA, but Tudbinks Greenhouses here in Conestoga is having a 50% off clearance sale, and they have butterfly bushes.


    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 7:45PM
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I will go hunting for a couple of butterfly bushes tomorrow, if the nurseries are open on Sunday, if not, Monday then.
I bet I could get a couple on sale.
The area is 25 feet wide, so I will see if I can get 2 of them.
I want them tall, so I won't cut them back at all.
Thanks so much!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 11:38PM
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I think you should consider Vitex Agnus-castus (Chaste tree) instead, as Butterfly bushes are deemed invasive now, especially if you do not deadhead the blooms to prevent self seeding. I have a Vitex that I let go, instead of doing the annual cut-back this spring, and it's already 10+ feet high. Same habit and growing conditions as B-Bush. I wouldn't recommend the Crepe Myrtle either, it's too slow for the results you want. But a mix of both in the area would still be nice, along with some pyramidal evergreens, as earlier suggested


My 'Tonto' Lagerstromia

    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 3:44PM
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Your crape myrtle is gorgeous!
I am trying to make a tree out of the how I have, It has many "Stems" or branches.
Beautiful pictures!
Thanks you.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 12:55AM
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westhighlandblue(z6 PA)

After three years, my William Toovey Crepe Myrtle, which I planted in front of my dining room window, almost completely hides the hideous view of my neighbor's garage door. I am sure that it grew 1 foot last year and two feet this year.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 11:20AM
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