plant label got me all screwed up. Help/pics

sunny631(7B)April 14, 2010

I purchased a crape myrtle "muskogee" tree the other day for some shade in my full sun small back yard. The label said 20x15. After doing some research online I am told it can get bigger. I have a small back yard and don't/can't plant anything too large. I wouldn't want to damage neighbor's water pipes or mine for that matter. I live in a townhouse w/ neighbors on both sides of me.

This is from the very back of my yard.

This is from the patio. Pay no mind to that sorry excuse for a shed. It is getting dealt with next week. Also, that tree coming out by the shed is a weed and grew on it's own. It's coming out also.

This is the whole yard.

I had posted this on the tree forum and not gotten a response. I just planted it two days ago and can take it up if need be. If it is too large is this plant suitable as a container tree?

Thanks for any advice.

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collins design

I can't really help you other than to say I understand your frustration. Plant labels, nursery descriptions, and online descriptions can be wildly different. One of my local nurseries told me that a lot of plant growers will use a 10-year size on their labels, even if the plant will grow larger. So maybe that size is a 10-year size?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 6:18PM
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Crapemyrtles are easily maintained well below their maximum potential height. Personally, I think they are more attractive, and certainly more compact, if cut back every year. Your variety is said to top out at 20 to 25 ft. I wouldn't worry about it.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 9:15PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Trees don't top out until they die or become senescent. Sometimes they just slow way down. Even the tallest redwoods make new growth every year. Some of these forest giants don't grow beyond their ability to transport water by dying back and starting over. Others grow very slowly.

Annual hard pruning of crape myrtles has been called crape murder.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 9:40PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

Annual hard pruning of crape myrtles has been called crape murder.

bboy, I hate pollarding. I bought a house with pollarded silver maples which are all rotting; trimming isn't enough to solve the problem, so I'm looking at removal and replacement.

However, the crape myrtles I'm familiar with all seem to bloom much more profusely when they've been pollarded. so my impression is that crape myrtles are more tolerant of severe pruning than other types of trees. [They're not my crape myrtles -- just some I see around town and where my parents live.]

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 10:07PM
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Few plants are more slovenly than a crapemyrtle allowed to run wild. The bonehead behind me lets his go, and some of the branches of the same tree are a good 15 ft. apart, a sprawling mess. I suppose some ideological gratification may be derived from refusing to intervene in the natural order.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 10:47PM
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