Pruning Your Crepe Myrtles

It is best to prune crepe myrtles in the winter when they are dormant. This will aid in a quicker regrowth in the spring. It also makes it easier to see the plant’s shape, while the foliage is gone. When pruning, your main desire should be to allow light and air to flow more freely throughout the crown of the tree. Many people commit “crepe murder” as seen in the picture below. This is not the correct and/or healthy way to prune crepe myrtles.

To correctly prune your crepe myrtles, we recommend you use the following guideline:

Tools you will need:
Pole pruners to cut branches more than 1.5” thick
Loppers to cut branches 0.5” to 1.5” thick
Hand pruners to cut thin branches that are less than 0.5” thick

Pruning Guide:
Make sure it is a dry, mild day
Start with the “suckers” at the base of the tree.
Trim side branches growing from the main trunks.
Then cut the higher branches growing inward towards the center of the tree.
Cut all dead branches, rubbing branches, and branches that cross each other.