There has been a major crime happening in Athens. Crapemyrtles are one of the toughest, most adaptable, and beautiful trees in the area with smooth bark, spectacular branching structure, and blooms that last all summer long. Why then do people decide to mutilate these trees so badly by topping them? This practice leaves the tree with horrible scars and wounds that will last forever.
So how do we prevent this crape murder? First, the appropriate variety should be chosen so that it has adequate room to grow, dwarf varieties are available. After planting, the only pruning needed by crapemyrtles will help guide the tree into the perfect shape. Lightly prune at lateral branches or stem forks during the winter to reduce height and provide shape, and suckers should be removed at ground level to reduce the number of permanent stems. That’s it. The “knobs” that are formed from topping are irreversible and cutting the crapemyrtle to ground level and starting over again is the only option to ridding these mutilated trees. More information on crapemyrtle pruning can be found at http://athenstrees.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Crapemyrtle-Pruning.pdf .
Do not follow in the neighbors’ footsteps and end Crape Murder today!