Crape Myrtles of Central Texas

Crape Myrtles of Central Texas

  • There are over 100 varieties of Crape Myrtles in Texas. 
  • Varieties can differ in mature height (3 feet to 40 feet) and in mature form (Tree, Miniature, shrub-like and weeping). 
  • Colors include white, many shades of pink, purple and red.
  • For a great resource on all things Crape Myrtle, visit this site

How to trim (and how not to trim)

As you drive around town, you will see several ways to trim Crape Myrtles. 

  • Natural trimming or Pencil Pruning – Raise the canopy and trim away dead wood and unneeded low branches. Additionally, remove all low branches thinner than a pencil. 
  • Topping the tree – cutting / chopping the tree at a pre-determined point in order to control blooming and tree size. 
  • Tipping the tree – leaving a tree shape while cutting the tips of the branches. This removes the old bloom pods while keeping the tree in its more natural shape. 

We recommend the natural style of pruning and will not top any trees unless it has been done before and the customer is adamant that we continue the practice.

Why? 

Many people (and companies) will argue for the topping of crape myrtles because it is a more “manicured” look. After all, blooms will only grow on the most recent growth – therefore, the logic goes, topping the tree will produce a more compact set of blooms. 

Crape Murder

We don’t want to be offensive, but some people call topping: “Crape Murder”. At Top Choice we just say, it’s not good for the health of the tree and generally doesn’t maximize the trees’ beauty in the long run.  Aggressively pruning the tree by cutting off a significant portion of the overall canopy will stunt the growth of the tree and could in the long run kill the tree. 

Murder Mended

Usually the topping can be mended in a few years (especially if the cuts are on branches 2 inches in diameter and less). In order to repair the branch, remove the knob and let it grow. If you get multiple sprouts from the same cut then remove one of the them each year until the single, new branch takes over. 

 

Allison is a certified Arborist and so we thought we would share her thoughts via this picture (this was actually a joke from Nolan in 2019):

For more info visit this website: Landscape Care

Some of the pictures came from here. And the Crape Murder Picture was from here