Saturday, November 14, 2009

What is a crape myrtle? Is it a tree or a bush?

We just planted 14 of these in our yard about 1.5 feet apart and I am not sure what the growth rate is or if they canbe used as a hedge which is what I was trying to do? Can someone help me?

What is a crape myrtle? Is it a tree or a bush?
Mine are have grown above my roof line~

Wikipedia says it is a large shrub~Apparently, if you severly prune them (what is known as Crape Murder in the South) they will remain smaller.

Crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia species) is a handsome, summer-flowering, deciduous small tree or shrub (Clemson University)~

Heights range from dwarf to semi-dwarf, medium and tall, depending on the cultivar. The height range is from 10 to 30 feet, and width range is 15 to 25 feet. Old specimens can reach 40 feet at maturity.
Reply:It depends on how you prune them.

We had some crepe myrtles in front of our house that grew to be about 30 feet tall. They spread their roots and grow multiple trunks so they are more bushlike. They should be pruned every year to promote flowering and you can affect the shape (tall and thin and tree like or shorter and more bush like) by prunning. We pruned our 30 foot tree-like crepe myrtles down to 4 foot tall series of dead-looking trunks that were 1 to 4 inches in diameter.

They spouted leaves and blossomed nicely the next year.
Reply:go ahead and dig em back up... even if they are a dwarf form they need to be at least 3 feet apart... their roots will choke each other out along with visual chaos... you need to find out what type they are (whether they are dwarf or not)... that said ...they are definatly considered a shrub in the horticulture world though they can grow tall like trees and can be grown in tree form... they do not make a good hedge... not many deciduous plants do... they only flower on new wood so every winter you need to prune the old blooms off to have the most possible flowers.... once again...crepe myrtle...not a hedge... go with ligustrums, lorepetalums, boxwoods, hollies, or pyracantha if you want a hedge...
Reply:Crepe myrtle may start as a bush but it will grow to be more like a tree. VERY difficult to get rid of if you change your mind. If you cut them down it makes the ample root system grow faster and further before it grow right back, thus making it even harder to get rid of.
Reply:I have heard a crape myrtle referred to as a tree. I have also seen them pruned to grow like a tree. However, I do not think they are very pretty that way, and they do not bloom very well.

By nature, your crape myrtles will grow like a bush. They will get very tall (9-10 ft.), but it will take quite a few years for them to get that big. If you do not prune them at all, they might be that tall in 5-6 years, as long as you fertilize them. However, if you are planting them for privacy, I think you want to prune them back the first couple of years. This will promote a more dense growth.

Eventually, the crape myrtles will make a beautiful barrier in the summer. They are not evergreen, though, so you will have little privacy in the winter.
Reply:they are a tree....... move them apart

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