Crepe Myrtle damage: was it the freeze or the timing?

behaviorkelton(7-ish)May 14, 2007

So I can see that many of the crepe myrtles around Knoxville are pretty much frozen back to their roots.

Was this caused by the lateness of the freeze?...or was it caused by the "low-ness" of the temperature?

After a very warm February...with some plants showing signs of spring growth...we had a cold snap which got down to around 20 degrees.

From what I understand, most of crepe myrtles can handle this kind of low temp. So my theory is that it was the timing of the freeze that shook them to the ground.

I see some huge crepe myrtles that appear to be starting to put on fresh growth, but only from the base of their trunk.

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brandiwine(7)

Hi,
I am in the Athens area....I planted two babies last year...sadly, they too are bare. I lost a lot of stuff but new leaves are coming back on everything but the myrtles...I hope they make it...that was dogwood and blackberry double whammy, eh!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 10:36PM
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onegirly

Hi! I'm in Farragut, I didn't get to cutting the myrtles back this year and now see some new green shoots coming out! yeah I think they are back

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 11:26PM
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behaviorkelton(7-ish)

I'm in the Holston Hills area of Knoxville.

So I have even more questions: Does a crepe myrtle that has been frozen back to the ground grow back faster than a crepe myrtle that you just planted?

Again, the old question is: Why did the crepe myrtles take the freeze so badly??? Was it that they were initiating their spring growth and "bam!" hit with freezing temps?

I can understand that it would kill off new growth, but did kill those beautiful trunks?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 8:33AM
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edb2n(7)

As I understand it, it was the timing of the freeze. We had tempartures much lower than the Easter Freeze this winter, and they myrtles came through with no problem, because they were dormant. But once it warmed up and they were really actively growing, the freeze zapped them. Interestingly enough, I have two that are the same variety, same age, and same exposure. One died back to the roots, and the other is re-leafing all over.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 10:25AM
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behaviorkelton(7-ish)

So I wonder if those older "dead" myrtles have truly lost their nice mature, woody trunks.

How long does it take a fast growing myrtle to establish such a nice trunk when it has to start all over from the ground?

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 12:38PM
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