Shedding Bark Of A Crepe Myrtle Tree
crepe myrtle bark
(Image credit: CurtisC Photoography)

The crepe myrtle tree is a beautiful tree that enhances any landscape. Many people choose this tree because its foliage is absolutely gorgeous in the fall. Some people choose these trees for their pretty flowers. Others like the bark or just the way these trees look different in every season. One thing that is really interesting, however, is when you find crepe myrtle bark shedding.

Crepe Myrtle Bark Shedding - A Perfectly Normal Process

A lot of people plant crepe myrtle trees and then start worrying as soon as they find that the bark is shedding from a crepe myrtle tree in their yard. When you find bark coming off a crepe myrtle, you might think it is diseased and be tempted to treat it with a pesticide or antifungal treatment. However, you should know that peeling bark on crepe myrtle is normal. It occurs after the tree has reached full maturity, which may be a several years after you plant it. Crepe myrtle bark shedding is a normal process to these trees. They are often prized because of the coloration that shows up on their wood once the bark is shed. Since the crepe myrtle is a deciduous tree, it sheds all its leaves in the winter, leaving behind the beautiful bark on the tree, which makes it a prized tree in many yards. When the bark is shedding from a crepe myrtle tree, do not treat the tree with anything. The bark is supposed to shed, and after it is done shedding, the wood will look like a paint-by-number painting, making it a definite centerpiece in any landscape. Some crepe myrtles will flower. Once the flowers fade, it's summer. After summer, their leaves will be absolutely beautiful, enhancing your fall landscape with bright yellow and deep red leaves. When the leaves fall off and the bark is shedding from a crepe myrtle tree, you will then have beautiful colored wood to mark your yard. After winter, the colors will fade. However, the peeling bark on crepe myrtle will first leave behind beautiful warm colors, ranging from cream to warm beige to cinnamon and on to bright red. When the colors fade, they are more like light green-gray to a dark red. So, if you notice peeling bark on crepe myrtle, leave it alone! This is just one more wonderful way for this tree to actually enhance your landscape and yard. These trees are full of surprises every season. The bark coming off a crepe myrtle is just one way it can surprise you.

Kathee Mierzejewski

Kathee Mierzejewski was with Gardening Know How in the very beginning, writing many of the site's foundational articles.