Help! My crepe (crape) myrtle tree wants to be a bush!
newbie gardener here, needing some help. I had my back yard landscaped in early 2006, and they planted 3 crepe (crape) myrtle trees. Two of them were planted as mature trees and already had "tree" (upright) form. But the 3rd tree, a crepe myrtle "Acoma", was not available as a mature tree, so they planted a little tiny seedling and told me it would grow up to be a nice tree. I have left it alone for the last 3 years, and now I find that it is turning into a bush rather than a tree. It is currently 4' tall and 7' wide. I wanted an upright tree, not a bush, so what are my options at this point?
Should I have been pruning it to encourage upright growth all along, ever since it was planted? Is it too late to do so now? If not, how would I go about it now that the lower branches (what should be the trunk, where it goes into the ground) are all angled outwards (none are vertical)?
I have posted photos of the tree (bush?!) and its trunk area to Picasa, and a link to the photo album is here: Crepe (Crape) Myrtle Acoma, about 3 years old, June 2009
Thank you very much for any advice!
Best regards from California,