Thursday, March 8, 2012
Murder In The Garden
The purpose of pruning is to create a canopy where air can circulate and all branches can receive sunlight. Unfortunately, many homeowners and professionals alike decide to ‘top’ the trees which can damage and disfigure the trees. This results in the ‘witch’s broom’ appearance and leaves the tree out of proportion. The topped area results in a profusion of new growth which restricts air movement and makes the tree susceptible to disease and insects. Topping may result in more blooms; however, the blooms will be on weaker branches, prone to drooping and breakage. The tree will also be more prone to ice damage.
Some of this severe pruning is done to control the height of the tree. There are so many types of crape myrtles available and they range in height from dwarf varieties which only reach six feet in height to the beautiful white Natchez, which can quickly reach twenty to thirty feet in height. So rather than setting your heart on a certain color, decide the maximum height you want and go from there.
The Crape Myrtle is a stunning tree all year long, so treat it with Southern kindness and say fiddle-dee-dee to the chainsaw and be gentle with the pruners.