Return to the Virginia Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Top Heavy Crape Myrtle

Posted by palieknight (My Page) on
Mon, Aug 20, 07 at 14:48

I have a crape that is about 12-14' high and is very top heavy when it rains. Branches bend very low and I am afraid they will break. 5 years ago i had to prune way back (crape murder...) because of building a screened in porch next to it. The primary branches seem not to have the strength or have not grown to support the top structure of the tree. Do you have any ideas? I do not want to commit murder again... thanks


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Top Heavy Crape Myrtle

Actually, it's hard to murder a crepe myrtle once it's gotten established; homicide usually requires the use of a spade.

Now: a) Crepe [or crape] myrtles bloom on new wood. A certain amount of pruning reminds the plant to make new growth - which should give you new blooms the following season. Because CM is a summer bloomer, the general practice is to prune right after blooming is finished, otherwise you're cutting off the next season's flowers.

b) No one really agrees on how or how much to prune. It mostly depends on what you like plus what the CM plans to do. You can encourage a tree shape by keeping side branches pruned, or encourage a bushy shrub by severe pruning.

c) Weak branches: It sounds as though the roots might have been pruned when the screen porch was built. The CM should have accommodated by now, but it's possible there is too much top growing for the smaller root area. It's also possible that it isn't getting as much sun -- does the porch shade it now when before it was getting sun? Also, it's very likely that if you are in an area suffering from drought, that the plant simply is not getting enough water to support the branches. OTOH, CM branches are rather flexible, so if the branches aren't breaking from the weight of wet blooms, don't worry about them unless a broken branch could cause damage to the house.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pruning crepe myrtles


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Virginia Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here