How to Prune an Overgrown Crepe Myrtle

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

The crepe myrtle is a beautiful tree that can add curb appeal to any home. However, an overgrown crepe myrtle can be an eyesore. Learn how to prune an overgrown crepe myrtle so that it is both aesthetically pleasing and healthy.

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General Guidelines

When it comes to pruning an overgrown crepe myrtle, there are some general guidelines you should follow. First, you should always prune crepe myrtles in late winter or early spring while they are still dormant. This will help encourage new growth in the spring. You should also prune crepe myrtles so that they have a central leader. This means that the main trunk of the tree should be the tallest.

Sterilize your pruning tools

The best time to prune an overgrown crepe myrtle is in late winter before new growth begins. This will ensure that you are not inadvertently harming any new buds that may have already formed.

Before you start pruning, it is important to sterilize your pruning tools. You can do this by dipping them in a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water. This will help to prevent the spread of disease from one plant to another.

Once your tools are sterilized, you can begin pruning your crepe myrtle. Start by removing any dead, diseased, or damaged wood. Next, remove any suckers or watersprouts that are growing up from the base of the plant. These will not produce good flowers and can take away from the plant’s overall appearance.

Finally, thin out the remaining branches to provide adequate air circulation and light penetration. Prune back these branches by 1/3 their length. Make sure to make your cuts at a 45-degree angle, just above a bud that is pointing in the direction you want the new growth to go.

Prune in late winter or early spring

Pruning an overgrown crepe myrtle is a daunting task, but one that is essential to the health and beauty of the tree. The best time to prune is in late winter or early spring before new growth begins. Crepe myrtles can be pruned severely without harming the tree, so don’t be afraid to cut away large branches. However, avoid pruning more than 30% of the tree’s total growth in one year.

Avoid pruning during the growing season

It is generally best to avoid pruning during the growing season (spring and summer), as this can stimulate new growth that will not have time to harden off before winter. If you must prune during the growing season, do so in early morning or evening to minimize stress on the plant.

How to Prune an Overgrown Crepe Myrtle

Crepe myrtles are lovely, drought-tolerant shrubs that can provide your yard with color and interest all year long. But if you don’t prune them properly, they can quickly become overgrown and out of control. In this article, we’ll show you how to prune an overgrown crepe myrtle.

Remove any dead, diseased, or damaged wood

Crepe myrtle trees are known for their vibrant flowers and ease of care, but even the tough crepe myrtle can become overgrown and require pruning. Whether your crepe myrtle is simply too tall or has become too wide for its location, you can safely prune it back to encourage new growth. With the right tools and a little know-how, pruning an overgrown crepe myrtle is a project you can do yourself.

Before you begin pruning, take a close look at the plant and identify any dead, diseased, or damaged wood. These areas should be removed first to improve the overall health of the plant. Use clean pruning shears to make cuts just above a pair of leaves or buds.

Next, begin shaping the plant by removing any branches that are growing vertically. These vertical branches compete with the main trunk for nutrients and can make the tree top-heavy, causing it to break or collapse under the weight of heavy flowers or fruit. Cut vertical branches back to a lateral branch or the main trunk.

Finally, thin out dense areas of growth to improve air circulation and allow more light to reach the inner parts of the plant. Make cuts at a 45 degree angle just above a leaf bud pointing in the direction you want new growth to occur.

Cut back any crossing or rubbing branches

Overgrown crepe myrtles often have crossing or rubbing branches. These need to be pruned out to allow room for the new growth and to open up the center of the plant. Make sure to prune back to a main branch or trunk, not just leaving a stub.

Remove any suckers or watersprouts

Suckers are fast-growing, vertical shoots that sprout from the roots or lower trunk of a crepe myrtle. They sap energy from the plant, compete for light and water, and can make an already overgrown crepe myrtle look even worse. Watersprouts are similar to suckers, but they grow from the main branches of a crepe myrtle rather than from the roots or lower trunk. You can remove suckers and watersprouts with a sharp pruning saw or loppers.

##Heading:Prune away any dead, diseased or damaged branches
##Expansion:
Pruning away dead, diseased or damaged branches is essential for the health of your crepe myrtle. Dead branches provide a entry point for pests and diseases, and they can also make your crepe myrtle look unsightly. Diseased branches should be pruned away to prevent the spread of disease to healthy parts of the plant. Damaged branches can be caused by storms, wind, heavy snowfalls or vandalism. It’s important to remove them before they have a chance to break and fall off, which could cause further damage to your crepe myrtle.

##Heading:Thin out dense growth
##Expansion:
If your crepe myrtle has become too dense, you can thin out the growth to improve air circulation and allow more light to reach the inner parts of the plant. When thinning out growth, be sure to make cuts at branch intersections so that you don’t leave behind stubs, which can lead to disease problems. To avoid damaging your crepe myrtle, only remove one-third of the branches when thinning out growth.

Thin out the canopy to allow light and air to reach the inner branches

To thin out the canopy of an overgrown crepe myrtle, begin by removing any dead, diseased, or broken branches. Then, cut back any crossing or rubbing branches to create an open, airy canopy. Next, selectively remove branches to thin out the canopy and allow light and air to reach the inner branches. Finally, cut back any remaining long or leggy branches to encourage new growth.

Trim back the remaining branches to the desired shape

Crepe myrtles can be pruned any time of year, but for the most dramatic results, prune in late winter or early spring before new growth begins. To start, remove any dead, diseased or damaged branches. Next, thin out the plant by removing crossing branches and branches that grow inward toward the center of the plant. Finally, trim back the remaining branches to the desired shape.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books

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