Want to know the tried and tested steps on how to fix a murdered crepe myrtle? Don’t worry, we got the right method to help you out!
Are you guilty of murdering the evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs known as crepe myrtle?
If yes, then you need to read this article through and through. Here, we intend to explain why people murdered crepe myrtle in the first place. We will also discuss the steps on how to fix a murdered crepe myrtle for those who want to revive them again.
- The Crepe Myrtle Murder Explained
- Does Topping Kill Crepe Myrtle Tree?
- How to Fix a Murdered Crepe Myrtle?
The Crepe Myrtle Murder Explained
The main reason why people joined the practice of topping crepe myrtle is because many of their friends are doing it. In addition, there are a lot of articles and blogs telling readers on how to murder crepe myrtle, and this adds to the misconception.
But why do people follow others and butchered crepe myrtle?
The answer to this questions is nothing short of a shock. It is common knowledge that people love to follow what the majority of the community is doing. Human as we are, we feel comfortable when we know that we are doing what is considered normal.
Edward Gilman, a horticulturist and professor at the University of Florida said that topping crepe myrtle is more of a “cultural thing” rather than science-based.
Another reason is that people are misinformed and believe that topping the tree will encourage more blooms to grow. In reality, frequent topping of the tree will produce larger yet fewer blooms on thin and weak branches that cannot support them.
Does Topping Kill Crepe Myrtle Tree?
Now that we have explained the reasons as to why people murder crepe myrtle trees, we will now proceed to the next concern, “Does topping harm or kill the tree?”
While this practice can harm and kill other trees for good, the crepe myrtle is very resilient and can recover quickly from the damage. The severe and deep cuts would usually kill other trees and bushes within days, but crepe myrtle may develop knobs and can grow thinner and weaker branches.
So, NO. This will not kill the crepe myrtle tree in one try, but continuously doing this with short intervals can lead to poor and unsightly growth of the tree.
How to Fix a Murdered Crepe Myrtle?
If you are guilty of murdering crepe myrtle or you are looking for ways on how to fix a poorly pruned crepe myrtle, follow the steps below:
1. Examine The Tops Of The Trees.
There are two case scenarios for these. It’s either you cut the trees in different parts or you kept cutting on the same spot for years.
So, examine the tops and make sure you have a clean cut. If there are knobs, cut them off before you proceed to the next step.
2. Allow Thin Shoots To Grow On Top.
Now that the cuts are clean, wait and allow thin shoots to grow on the cut end of the stem.
3. Select One Shoot And Prune All The Others.
Just select one or two shoots and remove the other ones. You will concentrate your revival method on these one or two shoots, so choose carefully.
4. Wait For Three Years.
If you have already chosen the shoots that you want to nurture, then it is time for the longest step– the waiting game.
Of course, trees take time to grow fully. And since you kept murdering your crepe myrtle tree for the hundredth time, then you must be patient to wait for the next three years to see the shoot growing out.
5. Remove Any Side Branches And Retain Only The New Main Trunks.
Once the shoots grew out, continue to look out for any new branches on the sides. Remove them and prevent them from growing towards the center of the tree.
As much as possible, you want to keep the number of branches to one or two only so that all the care and nutrients applied will be maximized by these two branches, letting them grow even healthier.
That’s it! You now have the 5 steps on how to fix a murdered crepe myrtle tree. Hopefully, you will realize that topping these trees will not do them good. So, go ahead and save the trees and sin no more!