One Trunk Crape Myrtle

eddiew003July 28, 2014

I planted 2 crape myrtles this year. I want them to be single trunks. They are both about 3 foot tall. One of them is alright straight and one trunk. The other one in the pic is forked right above the ground and neither branch is straight. What can I do to get it growing straight and have one trunk?

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I would cut off the competing right trunk in the picture. You might need a temporary stake to keep the trunk straight for this year, from then on it will be straight on its own. Al

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 5:53PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

on a recent transplant... more leaves.. means
more energy produced.. to grow roots.. to get established ...

i would leave it be for another year.. and then prune away ...

it can live decades... what is your hurry???


    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 7:39AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

The earlier the better for major scaffolding training. Of course, the best scenario would have been that the forked tree be culled and burned by the grower. But since it made its way to the marketplace, the flawed form should be corrected when the plant is very young.

The best time of year to do this is when the tree is fully dormant, so that the tree cannot respond immediately with a flush of new growth this late in the growing season. This is the time of year when woody plants will begin storing energy reserves in the root system. We don't want to sidetrack them from that essential effort.

In the spring, it will be very important that you remove all sprouts and suckers promptly so that the tree can devote its energy to top growth. If you are slow to tend to this aspect of the training process, the results won't make you happy.

This type of pruning does not follow the usual guidelines of minor shaping or detail pruning, ken.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 8:22AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

pshaw ...

first you teach a neophyte to plant it correctly ...

then you teach such.. that there is no real hurry ... no NEED FOR .... instant gratification ...

for all we know.. these were planted weeks ago .. maybe months... and you feel secure in taking ...half the canopy...


there is simply no hurry .. period ...

please note.. that is NOT whether its possible.. or feasible ... its about getting peeps to think in trees years .. rather than instant gratification... or the need to act immediately ...


ps: if it was an injury... broken.. off it would go ...

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 9:15AM
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