Crape Myrtle Question...

itguy12June 21, 2013

This link shows my current crape myrtles. I have 3 lining the right side of my driveway and all look like this. Again, this is from the previous owner's doings. They look horrible. My first thought is to just have the cut down and the stump/roots to be ground up the best we can. Besides that, what is the best ways to rehab these plants to look like they are supposed to?

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

get a pair of felco's .. real good pruning shears ...

and remove all branches for the first 12 to 18 inches.. leaving the trunks of course ...

to expose the structure inside ...

and then post a new pic.. and we can decide if said structure is worth working with .. or not

if not.. take shovel dig out ... this is not a grinding job ...

IMHO... its 4 feet too close the driveway.. but part of that is a snow thing in MI ...

ken

    Bookmark   June 22, 2013 at 7:37AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

If those were my trees, I'd cut them to the ground and either hire someone with a grinder or rent one for a half day. They will continue to resprout aggressively unless some attacks them with a grinder.

Do you even want trees on that side of your driveway? It's a tough decision.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2013 at 11:30AM
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boothbay(7)

Seriously, other than location, what is wrong with it? I've grown mine for over 20 years and admit its not easy pruning any shrubs, unless of course your an expert. I did start pruning mine at the very bottom so as to give it air and a form, like a "V" shape

    Bookmark   June 22, 2013 at 12:48PM
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bostedo(8a tx-bp-dfw)

Hey... crepe myrtle can serve as nature's "orange (crash) barrel" in this sort of location. We have a mid-stature cultivar at the corner of our drive where it warns/slows vehicles cutting the corner towards our fence post. While the trunks don't get big enough to actually stop a car or truck, hitting one will get the driver's attention and the tree will grow back as long as ANY roots are left in the ground. Ours was knocked over by a wide-swinging front loader and was back to full size within a few years. It has actually turned out to be a very nice tree for a location less than 2 ft off the drive .

That said, seems knowing the hardiness and stature/cultivar of your plants would help with the decision. If yours are only reliably root hardy in your zone, you'll be cutting them to the ground every few years anyway. Stature matters because it needs a mature height of at least ~10 ft to get the branches above vehicles in tree form and crowns of the big (20+ ft) ones will cover a large portion of the drive dropping bunches of stuff into the small openings of anything parked beneath them.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 1:20PM
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