Crepe Myrtle pruning is greatly debated in the south. With the concept of flowering on new wood, many end their growing season murdering their Crepe Myrtles. While the plant doesn’t actually die, an over zealous pruning job definitely murders the look of one.
Crepe Myrtles left in their natural natural shape are very attractive. I especially like the look of the trees in the winter. The natural look of the seed pods adding winter interest is enough to keep the clippers in my back pocket.
The Elizabethan Gardens in Manteo, NC has one of the most magnificat examples of Crepe Myrtle pollarding. These Crepe Myrtles are pollard to maintain the size.
Pollarding is to prune a tree to controls its shape.
After more than 60 years of pollarding these Crepe Myrtles has creating a gnarled, interesting art form. When done, over time, the results are dramatic.
The effect is so striking, it’s becomes an art.
While visitors to The Elizabethan Gardens journey to the gardens in the summer to see these magnificent trees in bloom, this humble gardener suggests you visit in the winter. On a beautiful sunny day in the middle of January when the air is relatively warm, grab a blanket, and a picnic lunch and sit amongst these trees. It’s inspiring.
Check out my friend, the Grumpy Gardener, aka, Steve Bender ‘s site over at Southern Living for some Crepe Myrtle pruning techiniques.