Are you a Crepe myrtle murderer? Crepe Myrtles are trees, that many owners just don’t treat with respect. It is the most planted tree in the US and are available in white, purple or lilac, red and pink colors.
With the large number planted, many home owners as well as lawn services improperly prune them so that they form a Medusa head when new growth starts. Some are so drastically cut back, using a technique I call Crepe murder, it’s amazing that they grace the owner with growth. The growth that does result is a scantily clad shrub. Notice in the murder picture very little growth. It takes the crepe myrtle half of the summer to recoup. The Medusa form of pruning or topping results in pom pom growth.
The prettiest presentation of crepe myrtle in trimming it in a tree form choosing 2 or 3 main trunks and cutting off all growth up the trunk for several feet and exposing the beautiful bark of the crepe myrtle. If you must prune, only trim any branches or limbs a pencil width or less in size.
Some of the best classic examples of crepe myrtles are found in Charleston, South Carolina. One street is lined with several of the trees cut in the tree form style, some over 20 to 30 feet in height. The bark of these trees are just wonderful when left in the tree form instead of the bush form.