Pretty much anywhere you look, you will quickly see several types of Crape Myrtles in Austin. These trees are extraordinarily resilient, making them a great candidate for your Central Texas yard. Here are some quick facts:
- 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.
A Few Popular Types of Crape Myrtles in Austin
There are several varieties of crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia) that are commonly found in Austin, Texas. Here are a few popular ones:
- Natchez Crape Myrtle: This variety is known for its large, white flowers and attractive exfoliating bark. It is a fast-growing tree that can reach heights of 20 to 30 feet.
- Dynamite Crape Myrtle: This variety features vibrant red flowers and glossy, dark green leaves. It is a mid-sized tree, typically growing to a height of 15 to 20 feet.
- Tuscarora Crape Myrtle: With its bright coral-pink flowers, this variety adds a burst of color to Austin landscapes. It is a moderate grower, reaching heights of 15 to 20 feet.
- Muskogee Crape Myrtle: Muskogee is a larger variety that can reach heights of 25 to 30 feet. It produces beautiful light lavender flowers and has a graceful, spreading growth habit.
- Tonto Crape Myrtle: Tonto is a compact variety that reaches a height of around 10 feet. It displays stunning dark pink to red flowers and is often used as a shrub or small tree in Austin gardens.
- Watermelon Crape Myrtle: This variety stands out with its striking watermelon-red flowers and deep green foliage. It is a mid-sized tree, typically growing to a height of 15 to 20 feet.
These are just a few examples of crape myrtle varieties that can be found in Austin. There may be additional cultivars and hybrids available in local nurseries or garden centers. It’s always a good idea to consult with local gardening experts or visit nurseries in your area to find the specific varieties that are well-suited for Austin’s climate and growing conditions.
How to trim Crape Myrtles in Austin (and how not to)
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.
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.
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.
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
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