The crepe myrtle tree is originally from China, but is now seen across the world. It is actually a shrub, but is now pruned and grown as a tree for decorative purposes. It is grown in many sizes, right from a shrub to a tree; even variety in flowers are seen like white, red, magenta, and purple. They are often preferred for decoration because they have a long blooming season.
The bark of this tree tends to peel off in parts. It is a low-maintenance decorative tree, but is mostly affected by humidity and aphids. There are a lot of varieties of this tree with differences in height, color of flowers, and also blooming period.
Trimming the Trees
Before we start discussing the pruning methods, let us understand when you need to trim the tree. Pruning is good to keep the tree in shape that you like and is also necessary for its health. Prune the tree when the branches are intersecting or are too close to each other. Otherwise, pruning is not required. The ideal time is when it is in the dormant state i.e., in late winters or early spring. This is also a favorable time for reshaping the tree and thus encouraging new growth.
|Common Name||Height||Special Features|
|Muskogee Crape Myrtle(lagerstroemia Muskogee)||15 - 25 ft||Lavender flowers bloom for 120 days|
|Tuscarora Crape Myrtle(lagerstroemia Tuscarora)||15 - 25 ft||Adaptable flowering tree with dark pink blooms.|
|Arapaho Crape Myrtle(lagerstroemia Arapaho)||15 - 25 ft||Blooming period of red crape myrtles is from spring till fall.|
|Red Rocket Crape Myrtle(lagerstroemia indica 'Red Rocket)||20 - 30 ft||Fastest growing crape myrtles with red blooms|
|Dynamite Red Crape Myrtle(lagerstroemia
|20 - 30 ft||Red-flowering crapes|
|Natchez Crape Myrtle(lagerstroemia 'Natchez')||20 - 30 ft||Needs warmth of sun for blooming|
|Pink Velour Crape Myrtle(lagerstroemia indica "Pink Velour")||8 - 10 ft||It blooms in summer and is also drought tolerant|
|Common Crape Myrtle(lagerstroemia)||15 - 30 ft||Original crape|
Pruning the Trees
There are two styles to pruning these trees. One is natural style where damaged branches, inward growing branches, and the ones too close to each other are removed so that the look of the tree is maintained. In this style of pruning the main branch is untouched so that it grows into a tough trunk. The other style is the formal style where the main focus is on the outward shape. It is done to enhance the blooming capacity of the tree. In formal style of pruning, there are two options available. First is the height of the tree and second is the width. Pruning can give the same shape to all the trees in the same landscape.
There are certain things that have to be followed while planting the tree. Make sure that you are using fertile soil that is well drained. Remove the buds and suckers from new branches. Take care of the water supply when newly planted. Once it is firm, it can even tolerate drought and other extremes of weather change.
This tree requires less care and maintenance once it has established itself. You can choose the plant according to its size as well as the color of the flower. While choosing for landscaping, choose the varieties which are short in height and easy to maintain.