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pruning........

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
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by 4Ruddy on March 20, 2005 08:02 PM
Because I have been so overwhelmed lately I didn't get a chance to cut back my crepe Myrtles...is it to late or can I go ahead and do it safely? They are small, I just planted them last year but wanted to cut them back so the trunks would get stronger. And, are you suppose to prune gardenia bushes. I sure hope I haven't waited to late!

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Happiness, like a dessert so sweet.
May life give you more than you can ever eat...
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by obywan59 on March 21, 2005 06:15 PM
I wouldn't prune them all the way back as you will then have oodles of small shoots coming up from the base of the plant. I accidentally pruned my new crepe myrtle last spring by running over it with the lawn mower. I had to keep thinning out all the new shoots all summer long.

I would just pick 3 or 5 of the stems you have right now and prune the rest out.

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Terry

May the force be with you
by Cedar on March 21, 2005 06:53 PM
I am not by any stretch or the imagination a crepe myrtle expert, but if it has already leafed out, you want to take it slow. You can still prune it but if you take off too much at one time, that will trigger it to replace all those branches you just took off, plus some. There is a percentage rule of thumb, but I can't remember It right now. I'm thinking it's somewhere between 10 and 25 percent. Possibly someone else out there knows for sure.
by 4Ruddy on March 21, 2005 08:11 PM
Thanks for the info...my trees are small and I know that you are suppose to cut them back to make the trunk bigger/stronger. The ones outside haven't leafed out yet. The baby ones that are in pots are in the building...and they all have really pretty leaves already, I am not going to mess with cutting them til next year. So now, if it will ever quit storming...I will get them taken care of.

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Happiness, like a dessert so sweet.
May life give you more than you can ever eat...
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