As we are hopefully through the worst of our winter weather in Raleigh, you may be wondering if there is anything that can be done now to improve your lawn or landscape. Now is a great time to prune the ever popular crape myrtle. Proper pruning of crape myrtles not only improves the overall aesthetic of the tree, but can stimulate new growth and healthy blossoms. Best practices for pruning crape myrtles are as follows:
- Eliminate all crossing branches, keep the branches that grow outward from the trunk to achieve a vase-like shape
- Eliminate all dead branches, aka "deadwood"
- Remove suckers from the lower branches and trunk
- Avoid over pruning or topping, aka "crape murder"
Crape murder is an industry term used to describe over pruning or topping the entire tree. This is usually unnecessary, can stimulate stunted growth and is just plain bad practice. Topping off a crape usually will not kill the tree, but should only be done if absolutely necessary, i.e. the tree has become a hazard to the home, powerlines, etc.
Now is a great time to prep beds for spring plantings with mulch or pine straw. At Wake Pro we will be working on some hardscape features and garden beds in anticipation of spring.