Crapemyrtle Pruning – Art Morris’ Comments

I think we all agree that the preferable treatment for a crape is to plant in the right place and let it go.

Pollarding is intended to remove only the annual sprouts from a pollard head, and is done correctly with hand pruners above the previous years cuts.

The idea is to avoid cutting back into the barrier zones that have formed during the growing season. The pollarding method is hundreds of years old and can actually prolong the life of a plant when done correctly.

If a maintenance company says they are pollarding, there should be a noticeable head or knuckle with many small cuts, rather than one large internodal cut, assuming this is not the first year of the process.

An issue I run into often is that many homeowners fail to recognize the importance of maintaining the annual pruning, and after the initial year the plant is left alone.

Art Morris
Board Certified Master Arborist
Bartlett Tree Experts

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