Crepe Myrtles

sandyl(Zone 6B -7)August 4, 2012

Did not see a forum for crepe myrtles so i'll ask my Tenn gardening friends. Oh by the way, I hope you all are going well. As for me I'm ready for a little cool down time myself. Who am I kidding,I'm ready for old man frost, bring it on. Ok back to reality, so here's my question, I purchased 2 Dynamite red crepe myrtles this week and they are currently in 2gal pots and both currently have just two main trunks each and I'll be putting them in the ground shortly, they both are about 4 foot tall right now. I don't plan to trim them until next spring but how do I trim them next spring to make them put how more main trunks? do I cut every thing down to ground level next spring so they put out new spouts? I would like for each to have at least 4 or 5 main trunks when they mature. I realize this process is going to take several years to accomplish and that's fine. I just don't know how to make that first important pruning and accomplish what I want over the long haul. I have read about how to prun them once they are large but not how I prun then as newly planted. My guess is cut-em down flush to the ground. Please help before I do some stupid and tee totally mess up.

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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Hey Sandy,

Your crApe myrtle will naturally grow more trunks within just a few years. If you are aiming for three to seven trunks (which is what I usually go for), the easiest way to accomplish this is to just wait and let nature take its course. If you want lots of trunks (I personally don't care for that "brushy" look), you could do as you describe and prune the trunks just above ground level after they become well established (at the earliest, next spring).

Keep in mind that if you do remove the trunks, you'll have lots of weakly attached sprouts to deal with. This might not be as much of a problem with a small crape as it is with larger ones. The larger ones take at least a couple of years of babying (staking, tying up, selective pruning, etc) before they grow back to a form that is stable (not falling down in wind and rain) and visually appealing.

Here is a link that might be useful: Planting a Tree or Shrub

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 7:47PM
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sandyl(Zone 6B -7)

Thanks Brandon. I think I'll plant-em and let-em go, nothing better then leting nature take its course. They already have pretty red blooms on them now. See ya at the swap in October..

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 8:12PM
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