The fall season has come to a end and the winter season is beginning. Many Crape Myrtle owners question when is the best time to begin pruning their trees. CLS believes that pruning in January (or once all leaves have fallen) is the best time to begin shaping your tree for the upcoming season. Another question that many face is the amount of material to remove from the tree. Below is a picture of the two different type of pruning options one can do for the Crape Myrtle Tree.


To properly prune your crape myrtle you will need:

  • Hand Pruners
  • Loppers
  • Pole Pruners (or a ladder)

Each tool assist with a different size branch, with hand pruners being able to remove the smallest branch and pole pruners being able to remove the largest type of branch (w/o needing a ladder).

CLS favors a Heading Back type of pruning for our Crape Myrtles unless otherwise requested in order to maintain the height of the tree. Pruning a Crape Myrtle tree is done by removing all branches that are not growing vertically. With pruning taking place in early winter this also is beneficial to high winds received during the winter. A recent article on Preparing For El Nino talks about the different types of prunning that can take place in order to help with high winds. Thinning is the best way to assist the tree in growth for the upcoming year and help maintain the desired shape. 

To properly thin your Crape Myrtle Tree you will want to focus on all horizontal and dead branches. Branches that are not growing vertically will need to be removed. These horizontal branches take away from the appearance of the tree but also cause the most damage during high winds. Horizontal branches catch the most wind and are capable of cutting other branches, causing the most damage to your tree. The degree of thinning is based on your personal preference. Depending on the height of your tree you can do multiple degrees of thinning with only removing small branches to removing larger brances. Thinning should be completed on a annual basis and done to the same level year after year. This will promote the best growth for your Crape Myrtle.


Concrete Landscape Services 

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