Now is the time to perform annual trimming on crape myrtle trees in the Atlanta area. The trees are dormant now and will remain dormant until it warms up (usually by the end of February.) Schedule an appointment as soon as practicable; or, if you wish to prune your own crapes, remember a few basic rules:
1. Don’t commit crape murder! (No topping. See this link for a photo of what NOT to do http://www.classicgardens.com/crape-murder/ or google ‘crape murder photo’)
2. First remove suckers, crossovers and damaged branches.
3. Plan the height of the remaining stalks based upon where you want the blossoms to be. (Observe how long last year’s stalks are.)
4. Thin stalks for better light and air distribution. (A good rule of thumb is a reduction of 1/2 to 2/3 of the stalks per trunk.)
5. After removing the unwanted stalks, reduce the remaining stalks to the desired height, MAKING YOUR CUT JUST ABOVE A BUD.