Stop Crape Murder!
I get it, okay! I understand why people would want a Crape Myrtle in their lawn, it can produce beautiful clusters of flowers in the spring and last through fall, I get all of that. The question is, why in the world when January, February, March rolls around do you feel the need to get out there and lop your tree in half? Did you see someone else do it and just think, “hey maybe I need to do that to” or did some “expert” tell you that it needed to be done?
Either way it is done, you either listened that expert’s advice or you learned by imitation, so you now have a few sticks sticking out of the ground where a tree should be. You will now have an aesthetically unpleasing lawn, that you are stuck with for about two to three months. YAY!
Proper pruning of a crape myrtle begins with examining the tree and deciding if whether or not it needs to be pruned. If you are pruning because your tree is growing straight up and not folding out creating that mushroom shape, then it is due to that genetics of the tree, you cannot permanently fix this by pruning.
If you are pruning to create more clusters of flowers, there is some truth to that, however keep in mind that the growth will be weaker and will not be able to support those new heavy clusters, therefore the limbs will droop.
If you absolutely have to prune your Crape Myrtle, because it’s starting to grow into the power lines or your house(BTW why did you plant it there in the first place, knowing trees grow?) try to prune the limbs that are no bigger than your finger. Go ahead and prune any limbs growing on the lower parts of the trunk and any shoots from the bottom of the tree. This will help the production and growth of the tree.
Make your lawn great again! Stop hurting your trees, when there is no need in it!