How To Train A Crepe Myrtle Bush Into A Tree

Filed Under: Trees, Pruning, Techniques & Methods · Keywords: How To, Train, Prune, Form, Crepe Myrtle, Crape Myrtle, Bush, Into, Tree · 8501 Views
How does one train a crepe myrtle bush to be a tree?

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Answer #1 · Maple Tree's Answer · Hi John-Many of the crape myrtles growing as a shrub can definitely be pruned into a nicely shaped multi-trunk tree. Do you know the name or cultivar of the crape myrtle you want to prune into a tree? If they happen to be a simi-dwarf variety that gets 8 to 10 feet in height they can still be shaped into a nice small tree. Some of the smaller bush forms need very little pruning and may not make a nice small tree as you desire.

If you would like a multi-trunk tree with 3 or more trunks you would want to select the 3 or 5 best, most upright growing ones. After selecting the best trunks remove all the rest, cutting them off as low as possible to the ground. This heavy pruning should be done in late winter before new growth appears in early spring. After removing the unwanted trunks you can remove lower branches along the remaining trunks to a point about halfway up the trunks. Take care that you don't remove any branches that might spoil the shape of the canopy you are trying to develop. If the branches have grown tall and spindly you can prune the top of these branches. Two or more new branches will grow from just below where the cuts were made. Be careful not to prune off too many lower limbs that might remove too much of the limbs that will be part of the new canopy. Most normal size crape myrtle trees have the lower limbs of the canopy at about 5 to 6 feet from the ground. If this cultivar was a smaller size crape myrtle pruning the side branching up too high may not leave enough branching to develop into a nice full canopy. Even when the smaller bush form crape myrtles are pruned to be smaller trees I think they look great throughtout gardens. You may not need to walk under their canopies and therefore a smaller tree works out and looks nice. I noted below a link to a good article in Gardenality that will show you how to prune the branching to develop a nice canopy each year after your shrub is pruned into a small tree form.

Please ask if you need more help or have any other questions.


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Answer #2 · John Wagner's Answer · Thank you John. I look forward to next winter.)

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Maple Tree

Maple Tree · Gardenality Genius · Zone 10A · 30° to 35° F
You're welcome. Let me know how you make out.

7 years ago ·
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