Crape Myrtle Care Guide
Crape myrtles, with their vibrant blooms and graceful silhouettes, stand as cherished elements in the local landscape. Ensuring their continued health and beauty is a mission shared by our dedicated Landscape Maintenance and Agronomics departments. They collaborate on this comprehensive crape myrtle care strategy, nurturing these living treasures as they add pops of color and charm to your property and the community.
Mastering the Art of Pruning:
- Timing is Key: Late winter, when the trees are bare, offers the perfect window for pruning. This allows for clear observation of branch structure and avoids hindering the spring bloom, as crape myrtles flower on new growth. February is prime pruning time!
- The Four Ds: Remember the “Four Ds” of pruning – dead, diseased, damaged, and dangerous. Prioritize removing branches that fall under these categories to maintain a healthy and safe tree.
- Shaping with Purpose: pruning can be used to shape the crape myrtle for aesthetic or functional purposes. Create beautiful screens, hedges, or topiary forms tailored to your landscape.
- Thinning for Airflow: Removing excess branches, particularly those crossing in the center, promotes better light and air circulation within the canopy, fostering optimal growth.
- Safety First: Low-lying limbs near walkways or roads pose potential hazards and warrant removal for increased safety.
Beyond the Blade:
- Mulch Magic: A light, 1-2 inch layer of pine straw mulch applied in winter helps retain moisture around the roots during dry spells. Avoid piling mulch directly against the trunk; good air circulation is crucial.
- Fertilize for Flourishing Blooms: In early spring, a targeted application of fertilizer encourages and supports the development of vibrant blooms.
- Pest Patrol: Our vigilant maintenance and agronomics teams watch for common crape myrtle pests and diseases, including powdery mildew, leaf spot, aphids, Japanese beetles, and sooty mold. Timely interventions ensure these pests and diseases don’t steal the limelight from your cherished trees.
- Crape Murder: We avoid, over pruning, which can result in “crape murder!” This refers to the harsh practice of topping mature crape myrtles with thick trunks. Such drastic cuts often result in weak, spindly growth that struggles to support the sizable blooms. Not only does it compromise the tree’s natural beauty, but it also increases susceptibility to diseases and pests.
By following this approach, our dedicated teams strive to give your crape myrtles the attention and care they need to thrive. Through this collaborative effort, we ensure these dazzling trees continue to paint Jacksonville with vibrant splashes of color, adding captivating charm to your property and the community. Remember, caring for these trees is not just about aesthetics; it’s about fostering a healthy and thriving ecosystem for all to enjoy.
From our office in Atlantic Beach and satellites throughout Northeast Florida, Rockaway Inc proudly serves both commercial and residential landscape design,maintenance, lawn care, irrigation, and outdoor living carpentry client needs in Jacksonville, St Augustine, Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, Jacksonville Beach, Ponte Vedra, Nocatee, St. Johns, and Fernandina Beach.