Incorrectly Pruned Crapemyrtles – How To Save Them

Q: What can you do to save a crepe myrtle that has been incorrectly pruned? I have three that were massacred and they look just awful now. 

A: It may take a couple of years but the job is not too hard to accomplish. First, cut the crapemyrtle all the way to the ground. Allow new shoots to develop around the stump. There will be several but let them all grow for one season (spring through late fall). In December remove all but 3-4 of the straightest, strongest stems. Clip the weaker ones as close to the stump as you can. Use bamboo stakes to support the strong ones through the next growing season. Apply 10-10-10 in early spring, early summer, and early fall to push growth along. Water regularly. Assuming it was sized correctly, to begin with, the result will be a multi-stemmed crapemyrtle that will need little pruning each year.

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