Updated: Dec 5, 2020
Pruning trees is a common practice and, if performed correctly, is very beneficial to the overall health and longevity of the tree.
There is a practice that some in the landscape industry call pruning but it is far from that, many others, like myself, call it more like murder. Crepe Murder is a practice that should never be done. We have never heard from anyone that performs this practice of cutting a clear explanation of why they commit this practice of crepe murder.
So what exactly is Crepe Murder?
It is the practice of topping or extreme pruning, of otherwise healthy and strong crepe myrtle branches and allowing smaller and weaker branches to take its place. Not only does this practice limit the number of leaves, which are vital to a tree’s survival, but it severely limits the number of beautiful blooms a Crepe Myrtle that makes the Crepe Myrtle, well a Crepe Myrtle.
This practice of extreme pruning of the Crepe Myrtle puts undue stress and exposes the tree to disease and rot to enter in an otherwise healthy Crepe Myrtle, which can eventually result in its untimely death.
With the Crepe Myrtle under stress from this form of trimming is the increased risk of a fairly new pest the Crepe Myrtle Bark Scale. Your beautiful Crepe Myrtle will start looking black with white spots on it.
Also, years of this practice of pruning will eventually detract from the overall beauty of the Crepe Myrtle, since the trimmed ends will start looking gnarly as years of trimmed ends accumulate.