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crepe myrtles

Old 07-01-2013, 06:38 PM
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My wife was given 3 large crepe myrtles yesterday that she suckered me into planting, any chance they survive? They were out of the ground about 4-6 hours before I could get them replanted. She watered them about an hour yesterday and about an hour today. Just not sure if I should prune the limbs or not? They are probably 12-15 ft tall so I would like to do everything I can to help them live.
Old 07-01-2013, 06:50 PM
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I am no expert, but google is your friend and we have several nursury owners on this site that might chime in.

That said, those plants seem to be able to take brutal pruning; as in, cut them back to a 5 or 6 foot height and watch what happens.

Around here, we have people that trim them back every year in order to make bushes out of them, and we have people that let them grow and the flowers are a whole lot higher.

Doesn't seem to bother the plants either way you do it.

We're in Silverhill, which is east of Mobile. Crepes and Magnolias rule around here.
Old 07-01-2013, 07:06 PM
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I can tell these have been trimmed in the past I'm just not sure if I should do it now or wait until later. The wife is going to call around tomorrow and see what the local nurseries say to do. We are across the state in Dothan.
Old 07-01-2013, 07:06 PM
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Up here you can't kill the damn things. It could depend on the species too.
Old 07-01-2013, 07:08 PM
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You shouldn't have any problem keeping them alive. I've never watered trees more than 5 minutes every couple of days after planting. An hour is an overkill. I wouldn't do any pruning this late in the year.. Most are in full bloom or will be soon pending on your location. I have 24 crepe myrtles ranging from 4' to 18' tall. I trim them mid to late march each year.
Old 07-01-2013, 07:26 PM
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Thanks. We 'll cut back on the water. They were full of blooms when they were dug up.
Old 07-01-2013, 07:55 PM
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Don't plant them close to driveways or your cars.
Old 07-02-2013, 03:43 AM
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Not a problem at all, like someone said you can't kill those things.
Old 07-02-2013, 04:00 AM
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On a new planting that's been shocked, I'd cut the top third and keep the water on them. This will promote root growth and interior leaf development. We've maintained hedges of myrtles for many years. Ihey're very hardy plants.
Old 07-02-2013, 04:04 AM
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we took some of the bigger branches off ours to use for garden stakes and the stakes started growing, I don't think you can kill them.
Old 07-02-2013, 04:25 AM
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Pretty hard to kill. The biggest problem they'll have is wind/breeze/movement. Because they have no root system and are fairly tall, the wind is going move them a lot, possibly breaking new roots as they grow. Proper staking is important until they are established.

Late winter (Feb for you)? is the normal time for pruning. I'm not sure if pruning now will have any long term negative effect, but it sure would make it easier to stabilize them.
Old 07-02-2013, 06:25 AM
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We staked them pretty good. The nursery said to prune late Feb or early March.
Old 07-02-2013, 10:47 AM
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That's a hardy plant as others have said.

To prune or not to prune........look at it this way.

X amount of foliage above the ground is supported by X amount of root system below the ground. If the tree is being transplanted from a pot then there is enough root system to support the foliage above and therefore very little to no pruning would be necessary. Now in the case of the transplant was delayed or done in the middle of a sunny hot day a mild pruning would not hurt and would be beneficial. Now if the tree was dug up from the open ground and shipped/ sold in a burlap/ wire metal basket then I would say a percentage of root system has been removed, therefore pruning would greatly benefit the tree.

Be careful with under watering, you don't want the tree's root system to look for water up at ground level....you want the root system to look for water downwards.
Old 07-05-2013, 07:23 AM
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Well i will say they received plenty of water Wednesday and yesterday as we received about 8 inches of rain.
Old 07-05-2013, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Hayden01 View Post
We staked them pretty good. The nursery said to prune late Feb or early March.
Exactly, wouldn't try to force growth on a weak plant.

As long as the root ball didn't dry out, I'd say yer OK.
When you do prune them, you can "Weave" the trunks
together in various shapes, if you like.

Crepe Myrtles....Classic Southern Trees right up there with Magnolias.
Old 07-05-2013, 01:18 PM
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They get large and raggedy and will kill all the grass under them and have roots all over the place, try Ortho vegetation killer for fertilizer. And they drop their shitty little balls/seeds all over the place when shedding and make a big mess.
Old 07-06-2013, 07:05 AM
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IMO, Crape Myrtles (correct spelling, BTW) look much better when allowed to grow out naturally.
The trend towards pruning them into "lollipop trees" is a bad one, unless you are really into uniformity.
People tend to deadhead them and they look like shit for years. I like to only prune as needed for healthy growth.
Old 07-06-2013, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by thubert57 View Post
Up here you can't kill the damn things. It could depend on the species too.
Down here also. I pulled a branch out of the ground with my truck and re-planted elsewhere in the yard. Took right off!

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