Crape myrtle

Asked September 18, 2018, 2:31 PM EDT

My poor tree, I know it has been a crazy weather year, but is there anything I can do before it goes dormant? It never finished blooming on the tips, some areas look they might get a bud, but larger areas look like no hope. Thank you for any suggestions

Baltimore County Maryland

1 Response

We can't tell from your photo exactly what is going on, but it looks like you may have some dead branches within the plant.
Dead limbs and branches can be pruned out any time of year on a dry day.
Branches that snap off instead of bend (start from the outer twigs and work in) are dead, as are ones that show brown when scraped with your fingernail.

Removing dead material will go a long way towards tidying up your crapemyrtle.

They bloom on new wood each season, and while they don't necessarily ever need to be pruned if planted where they can grow to their desired size (by cultivar), early spring is the time to do it for live branches.
Crapemyrtle need full sun to bloom well. If they don't have that you could consider selectively trimming/thinning the canopy of other trees and shrubs nearby to give them more light.