Can I Cut A Tall Crepe Myrtle Tree Down To Half Its Size?

Filed Under: Trees, Techniques & Methods, Pruning · Keywords: Can I, Cut, Back, Tall, Crape, Crepe, Myrtle, Tree, To. Half, Its, Size · 2128 Views
I have a crept myrtle tree that is at least ten feet tall. Would it be okay to cut it down to five feet?

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Answer #2 ·'s Answer · Hi Lorraine - A picture would help us to give more accurate advice however John is right. If the tree has very few tall and thin trunks (2 inches or less in diameter) it wouldn't hurt to cut it back by half its height to begin forming a fuller, more densely-branched canopy. But if the tree has large trunks (3 or more inches in diameter) I wouldn't advise cutting it back this far unless you're trying to control the height of the tree. Even then, after pruning it back the new branches that emerge from beneath your cuts will probably soar back to 10 feet in height in a relatively short period of time. It's really hard to control the height of a crape myrtle by pruning unless of course you prune it all the way back to the ground...but then you end up with many suckers that will emerge from the stumps to form more of a bush than a tree. If the height is an issue and causing problems I might suggest removing the tree and replacing it with a dwarf or semi dwarf crape myrtle or some other smaller growing tree.


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Answer #1 · Maple Tree's Answer · Hi Lorranine-Is this tree young, tall and spindly looking without much branching or is it a more mature tree with a nice canopy that is just getting to tall for you? If you could upload a picture of the tree it would be easier to determine what type of pruning would be needed. Above this answer and to the right of your name next to edit your question you will see where you can upload your picture. If the tree has grown tall and spindly looking with long shoots without any pruning it can be pruned down to start developing a nice canopy. If the tree already has a nice canopy and you want to reduce its size this much you will lose the canopy and have to start over which will take 3 to 4 years to develop another well shaped tree. If the tree has a nice canopy and is getting to tall for you in the area it is planted you may want to remove it and plant a smaller variety. Are you looking to keep the tree at or below 10 feet or just trying to develop a better shaped tree? Do you know what variety of crape myrtle it is? If the tree has grown to 10 feet now it will definitely grow to that height again or taller.

Uploading a picture and your reasoning for reducing the trees height in half will help in giving you a more useful answer. I noted a link below to a good article in Gardenality on correct pruning of crape myrtles that may help you. Just click on the link to go directly to the article.


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