Can I trim my crape myrtle?

NinjaPixie87(7)July 29, 2014

I know the typical pruning season for crape myrtles is late winter, around February. I actually got around to pruning mine up some back in February, but I was a little hesitant to do too much because I love hot tall and mature they are. Now, after a good growing season, I can see that they definitely need to be cut some more. There are a few lower branches that need to be removed, either because they are touching the house or because they are just hanging too low.

What I'm wondering is, am I okay to remove a few branches this time of year? Or do I need to wait until next year? (And try to remember which branches got in the way when it was in bloom.)

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i would differentiate between NEEDING to remove branches ... because of harm to the house ..

and alleged proper pruning time ...

you can do some quick touch up any time ...

but do the most.. at the proper time...

ken

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 5:45PM
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lazy_gardens

There are two ways to deal with this

1 - Do it now so you can check the effect as you prune.

2 - Mark the branches that need to go with a bit of twine around the base of the branch and do it later.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 5:52PM
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Oxboy555(Las Vegas)

Mmmm...."hot tall and mature"

That's how I like my myrtles too. :)

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 5:56PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Sounds like the wrong tree in that location, to me. The need for pruning is only going to get worse as the tree matures.

Ideally, crapes shouldn't have to be pruned at all.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 8:30AM
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NinjaPixie87(7)

Haha...I meant to type "how", not "hot". :-)

Snapped this pic last night.
I prefer to leave crape myrtles alone as much as possible (love the big natural look, hate all the butchering I see done), but some pruning is necessary. I'm afraid they're probably about as big as I can let them get, considering they are next to the house. :-(

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 9:22AM
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NinjaPixie87(7)

...and this closer pic shows better where it's starting to touch the house. Not to the point of causing damage, but touching. (Most of what you see up against the house is the lady banks roses behind it...which also needs to get cut back.) I mostly want to take off the two little branches on the bottom left area that look to be about >2" dia. A few similar branches on the other one that I want to take off, too.

I'm thinking cutting a few smaller diameter branches probably won't cause any harm on these healthy trees. But I wanted to check and make sure I'm not totally off-base with my thinking. :-)

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 9:30AM
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