Crape Myrtle dieback?

Asked June 18, 2019, 5:42 PM EDT

I have a Crape Myrtle (pink flowers that bloom towards the end of the summer season). It is in full sun in my yard in Silver Spring, MD. This season, I have noticed some dieback of internal branches. I don't see any obvious signs of insects or disease, leaves and bark look okay. I also noticed that a few of the branches that look dead have very small new branch growth off of them. I wonder, before I start pruning, should I be doing any pruning of these dead branches at all? I am not sure what is causing this dieback (although this season I did put 1 or 2 fertilizer sticks for flowering trees around it at the start of spring).

Montgomery County Maryland pruning branch dieback crape myrtle tree

3 Responses

Crape myrtles can be marginally hardy especially if we have a cold winter, frosts, or are planted in a windy area. Some branch dieback can be expected. Prune dead wood even the ones that are putting out some growth. This growth will most likely be weak.

Crape myrtles like full sun in a well drained soil. They do not demand a lot of fertilizer and fertilizer spikes are not recommended. Here is some information on crape myrtle pruning https://pender.ces.ncsu.edu/2013/02/how-do-i-prune-crape-myrtle/

Marian


Okay, great to hear. Thanks for the helpful information!