Start over with damaged crapemyrtle or not?

Q: I am concerned about two crape myrtle trees in my yard. When I purchased my house over two years ago I kept these two crape myrtles. The crape myrtles had been massacred in the past before I purchased the property. From a distance, the trees look attractive with lots of flowers and peeling bark. I have allowed them to grow, but I have never fertilized them. The new branches that have grown over the past severe cuts seemed to be healing the tree. However, the old cuts in the center are now soft, and ants and snails are going inside branches.

A: This question has more than one correct answer. An arborist would probably say you should cut the tree down completely and retrain the resulting sprouts to form new trunks with no rot in them.

This link describes how to do it https://neilsperry.com/2020/04/question-of-the-week-number-one-april-9-2020/

On the other hand, the trees are a nice shape and size and perhaps you don’t want to wait for developing new trees.

But the rot in the center is a weak attachment point and a strong wind or thunderstorm could cause them to fail.

In that case, you can buy 1 inch wide nylon arborist tape and loosely tie the limbs together, six feet up, so they can’t fall.

The tree will “wall off” the rotten area internally. There’s no need to eliminate the bugs crawling in and out.

  • Advertisement