Pruning Crape Myrtle Tree

Picture of crape myrtle tree

Picture of crape myrtle tree

Should I prune back some of the branches touching the roof all the way down to one of the four main trunks or should I just trim the ends back? Also, should I remove some of the extraneous branches from the four main trunks that you can see in the photographs or leave them alone?

Thanks so much. I don't want to harm the tree or disfigure it - we enjoy it!

- Michael D.

Once the tree has dropped all of its leaves, you may begin to prune. To prune the branches touching the roof, follow a branch where it touches the roof back toward the main body of the tree. If along the way you see a strong upward growing side branch, cut back to that branch. That will redirect the growth of the canopy of the tree up and away from the roof. You may cut the branch back to any upward growing side branch that does the job of getting the branch off of the roof - even back to a major branch or a trunk if that looks like the best decision. But, be moderate initially. You can always go in and prune some more later on if you decide you need to.

After doing this, look at the rest of the canopy. You may want to do some pruning to the front and sides to balance the canopy after pruning the branches hanging over the roof.

Overall the tree has been well pruned. I don't see the need to remove additional branches from the canopy. But, use your judgement. Again, take your time. You don't have to do all of the pruning at once.

Dan Gill
Consumer Horticulture Specialist

9/12/2015 3:10:23 AM
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