CREPE MYRTLE TREE CARE

Asked August 11, 2019, 10:30 AM EDT

YES about 3 weeks ago I purchased a MUSKOGEE Crepe Myrtle. I checked and this should be winter hardy for the PA area. I live in Catawissa. This tree is about 8' tall and was balled where the roots etc were 22"x24" It has started to bloom so I believe it has SETTLED IN WELL. I have not mulched it yet bc I was contemplating what is BEST and have done some research...BUT a friend tells me I should put small 1" river stone around it to help retain some of the moisture and then mulch with SOME peat moss topped off with Pine Straw. Im just reluctant. PLEASE ADVISE !!!

Columbia County Pennsylvania

3 Responses

The most important thing with a new tree is to make sure it gets at least an inch of water a week during the first year up to frost. The easiest way to do this is with a soaker hose laid in concentric circles. The roots need time to acclimate to the soil and find their way to food and water. You should mulch with arborists wood chips or shredded hardwood bark. Don't use dyed mulch and don't mulch next to the bark. Start six inches from the trunk and go out to the drip line. You are trying to recreate what happens in nature where fallen tree leaves protect roots.

Crape myrtle is at the northernmost part of it's range in Pennsylvania, and your tree may require some winter protection from wind if it is isolated in the landscape. We've had questions the last couple of winters related to death and damage of crape myrtle.
Here is a link to an article written by a horticulturist with tips about growing crape myrtle in Pennsylvania. https://archive.triblive.com/lifestyles/jessicawalliser/14270499-74/pick-the-best-crape-myrtle-varie...

I'm SO DISAPPOINTED that YOU DID NOT ANSWER MY QUESTION.......should I put small 1" river stone around it to help retain some of the moisture and then mulch with SOME peat moss topped off with Pine Straw. Im just reluctant. PLEASE ADVISE !!! I ALREADY KNEW ABOUT the watering and ACTUALLY I saw where watering TOO MUCH INTO THE FALL COULD ACTUALLY make it more tender to the WINTER. BUT EVERYWHERE I READ REFERRED TO PINE STRAW or an ACID MULCH. I WAS JUST LOOKING FOR A GOOD ANSWER about the STONES .....

My recommendation is no to river stone mulch.