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Old 01-08-2017, 04:54 AM   #1
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Default Appropriate time of year for "crepe murder"

We've got three leggy crepe myrtles in our backyard. I had planned to cut them down to 7-8' or so this February. For reference they're 30’ plus now but trunks are only 4" diameter or so.

I just noticed they're starting to bud a little bit. Am I too late?
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Old 01-08-2017, 05:47 AM   #2
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I'm in the Upstate- we always did them in February.
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Old 01-08-2017, 05:49 AM   #3
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Myrtles don't like major hacking. I'd take them down a third, then allow to go through a season and get another third.

To keep a crepe myrtle healthy and beautiful, you want to prune with an eye toward opening up the middle of the tree to allow air to flow through more easily. Don't over-prune by lopping the trunks close to the ground. Aside from those guidelines, you can prune your crepe myrtle to a shape and size that works for your yard.

Here's some good advice. http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgi.../hgic1009.html
and
https://pender.ces.ncsu.edu/2013/02/...-crape-myrtle/
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Old 01-08-2017, 06:58 AM   #4
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I'm in the Upstate- we always did them in February.
That's the word down here as well.
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Old 01-08-2017, 08:34 AM   #5
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End of February first of March
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Old 01-08-2017, 08:27 PM   #6
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What's your desired look/goal?
If they are 30' now, they still want to be 30 after hacking. Either full shade is forcing them vertical or you have a genus that's vertical growing and probably vase shaped.
Hacking will give you 3x-10x the leaf mass and also more flowers, crepes flower on new growth.also you'll introduce cavity rot down the road where cut and new growth forms. Myrtles don't need to be hacked, best to choose right tree 4 right place if you have option. Hacking started cause landscapers r dead in winter and this offers $, much like the practice of mulch volcanoes,,,,,,as to time,best after chance of hard freeze and b4 sap rises. If your after flowers, increase mulch bed area,water,fertile w/ high N, late summer / fall fertile no N, high K and phosphate
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Old 01-09-2017, 05:57 PM   #7
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What's your desired look/goal?
If they are 30' now, they still want to be 30 after hacking. Either full shade is forcing them vertical or you have a genus that's vertical growing and probably vase shaped.
Hacking will give you 3x-10x the leaf mass and also more flowers, crepes flower on new growth.also you'll introduce cavity rot down the road where cut and new growth forms. Myrtles don't need to be hacked, best to choose right tree 4 right place if you have option. Hacking started cause landscapers r dead in winter and this offers $, much like the practice of mulch volcanoes,,,,,,as to time,best after chance of hard freeze and b4 sap rises. If your after flowers, increase mulch bed area,water,fertile w/ high N, late summer / fall fertile no N, high K and phosphate
I didn't plant them. I inherited them with the yard. Half acre lot, back fence is hedged with lagustrum. Full, thick, tall, except for two that we had To replace but they're catching up. Maybe eight total.

Three crepe myrtles in a row in front of them, but right up against them. Like growing into the lagustrum.

If I hired a landscape architect he would say get rid of them, and honestly that may be the right play, just hate killing mature trees.

Too big to transplant.
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:28 AM   #8
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If you can get a bobcat to them, you could move them I use 6k lbforks and break the roots loose on two sides then use 4 forks to hold rootball together. get a root ball 6-8 feet wide and 5 to 6 feet deep, already have your planting spot dugout little larger, crepe myrtles are almost impossible to kill but you have instant value added to your property if you can move them right.I moved a couple bilox's to my house 4 yrs ago in a dump truck that size,10"trunks, and their doin great. Good luck
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Old 01-11-2017, 12:18 PM   #9
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End of February first of March
This
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Old 01-11-2017, 12:52 PM   #10
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The Virginia Pilot just had an article about crepe myrtles. In this area they said now through March. If I find it online, I'll post it.


Just found it and an article from Virginia Cooperative extension. I have one I'm looking to address. Good luck.




http://pilotonline.com/no-better-tim...865006575.html




https://pubs.ext.vt.edu/430/430-451/430-451.html

Last edited by Mud Runner; 01-11-2017 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 01-11-2017, 06:06 PM   #11
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If you can get a bobcat to them, you could move them I use 6k lbforks and break the roots loose on two sides then use 4 forks to hold rootball together. get a root ball 6-8 feet wide and 5 to 6 feet deep, already have your planting spot dugout little larger, crepe myrtles are almost impossible to kill but you have instant value added to your property if you can move them right.I moved a couple bilox's to my house 4 yrs ago in a dump truck that size,10"trunks, and their doin great. Good luck
I have access to a bobcat and a big tractor too I'm sure but then Im stuck with giant holes in my yard.

I'm not a huge yard guy, I just like things simple. I've got a project boat, a toddler, and a pregnant wife. Oh and Im self employed.

Point being I'm glad that's an option but I'm not willing To pursue that drastic of one at this time.
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Old 01-17-2017, 01:07 PM   #12
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I am not sure you can hurt them, go all freddy cruger on them!
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