Image by Chris Short
By Heather Rhoades
Though pruning a crepe myrtle tree is not necessary to the health of the plant, many people do like to prune crepe myrtle trees in order to neaten the look of the tree or to encourage new growth. After these people have decided to prune the crepe myrtle trees in their yard, their next question is normally “When to prune crepe myrtle trees?”
This question on crepe myrtle pruning time has a different answer depending on why you wish to prune a crepe myrtle tree. Most likely you are either pruning for general maintenance or to try to coax a second bloom out of the tree in one year.
Crepe Myrtle Pruning Time For General Maintenance
If you are just looking to perform general maintenance on your tree, the ideal crepe myrtle pruning time is either in the late winter or early spring when the tree is in its dormancy. This is the best time to prune if you are reshaping the tree, removing deep or weak branches, trying to encourage new growth or size maintenance.
Crepe Myrtle Pruning Time For Second Bloom
Like many plants, a crepe myrtle tree can be encouraged to put forth a second round of blossoms through a practice called deadheading. When to prune the crepe myrtle tree in this case is shortly after the tree’s first round of blossoms have faded. Prune the blossoms off.
This practice should not be done too late in the year as it may cause the tree to delay going into dormancy which in turn could kill it over the winter. It is not advisably to try this after the beginning of August. If the first round of blossoms is not finished by the beginning of August, you would probably not be able to get a second round of blooms before the winter comes anyway.
When to prune crepe myrtle is something that every crepe myrtle owner should know if they plan on taking the time to prune a crepe myrtle tree. Choosing the appropriate crepe myrtle pruning time will ensure that the tree stays healthy and beautiful for many years to come.