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Are You Committing "Crape Murder?"

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Crape Myrtles are a beautiful and very common tree in Charlotte, NC: Crape Myrtles are also known for the pruning that is required to maintain that beauty. The overall goal of pruning the crape myrtles is to shape the overall look of the tree, produce strong branches and showcase the smooth multi-toned bark. However, many individuals commit “crape murder” sometimes without even knowing they’re doing so. Cutting the branches back to thin stubs becomes detrimental to the health of the tree.

How should one avoid “crape murder?” Below are steps listing proper pruning techniques:

  • Prune in late winter. Did you know: February is the ideal time to prune? Now, get to it!
  • As the tree grows, gradually remove all side branches from the main trunks up to a height of 5 feet or so.
  • Cut back to another branch, to just above an outward –facing bud on a branch, or to the branch collar
  • Remove unwanted branches before they get thicker than a pencil.

Need to reverse a butchered crape myrtle? Call Carolina Tree Care today - it’s not too late to save your beloved tree. If the crape myrtle has been cut within a few feet of the ground, it’s best to cut the plant completely to the ground. It will grow back quickly. If the crape myrtle has been rounded off, follow the guidelines above.

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