Tree Identification / Recommended Trimming Practice

Asked March 12, 2019, 1:17 PM EDT

Hi, I was hoping you could help to identify the type of tree within the included photos. In addition, I was also hoping you could provide some recommendation on how to trim the tree. From my research, and what I can tell from the tree, it looks like it was 'topped' last year or the year before, and this practice is not recommended for trees for a number of reasons. That said, would it be acceptable to selectively removing about 1/3 of the vertical 'branches' or is something more robust recommended to correct the past 'topping'? Thank you so much, please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions. Your time is greatly appreciated!

Montgomery County Maryland pruning topping crape myrtle tree

1 Response

The tree looks like a crape myrtle. Best time to prune crape myrtle is late winter early spring and they require minimal pruning. When planting it is important to plan for mature height and width. Take a look at the attached links for information on pruning. The publication from Va Tech offers information on crape myrtles that have been topped and how to correct. The plant may not have its natural form back but it can be improved.
http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/430/430-451/430-451.html
http://pender.ces.ncsu.edu/2013/02/how-do-i-prune-crape-myrtle/
https://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheet/crape-myrtle-pruning/

mh