Can A Natchez Crape Myrtle That Has Outgrown Its Space Be Drastically Pruned To Reduce Size?

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How do I drastically prune 17-yr old Natchez crape myrtle which has outgrown it's space? Only alternative is to remove the tree. I live in middle Georgia.

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Answer #1 ·'s Answer · Hi Janice - I had the same exact problem several years ago with a Natchez crape myrtle that had been planted way too close to my home and had grown to well over 20 feet. I removed it.

Regarding your crape myrtle, if you cut the canopy back halfway or so it'll just quickly grow back to the size it was, because all the roots will still be there that supported the branches you removed. If you cut the tree back to short stumps, say 6 feet above the ground or so, skinny shoots will emerge from beneath were you made your cut. To me, these skinny shoots emerging from flat-topped trunks is unsightly. Too, they'll grow very long and will weep over to the ground from the weight of the flower clusters. Some may even break off with rain or wind.

If you want to keep the tree it would be better to cut it all the way back to the ground. Then lots of shoots will emerge from the base of the trunk. These could be thinned down to one or three shoots that will eventually become the trunks of a new tree. Even then, eventually, you'll end up with an oversized tree that doesn't fit the space and probably have to fight new suckers emerging for years to come.

Feel free to upload a picture of the tree to this question using the link to the right of where your name appears in your question above. Seeing a picture will help us to give better advice.

Hope this was helpful and let us know if you need more details or have any other questions.


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