crape myrtle Lagerstroemia indica

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crape myrtle Lagerstroemia indica

Post  Seth Ellwood on Sat Sep 19, 2009 4:27 am

I also picked up a really nice crape myrtle today that I could not pass up Pics to follow tomorrow. Since this will be the first initial styling of the tree and everything I understand about the species is autumn is the best time to do any hard pruning am I correct? I un covered the nebari today and am egar to get started. At another time I purchased another one and pruned it hard in early spring and it ended up bleeding out and dying .I do not want this to happen to this tree as it is to nice to make a elemantary mistake like that again. Please let me know from all of you in the southeastern us when you would make such a drastic initial cut .I will not repot till spring but want to do this work during the optimum time in order to make sure I have sucess with this specimen. everyone else feel free to post pics of your crape myrtles as inspiration Thanks

Seth.

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Re: crape myrtle Lagerstroemia indica

Post  JimLewis on Sat Sep 19, 2009 12:58 pm

I have a dozen crape myrtle. Do all my major cutting in spring or early summer. I've never seen one "bleed." They're not a sappy tree. Its demise must have been for some other reason.

That said, I suppose you could cut in the fall; it will give you a winter for the callus to start forming. Scars last a LONG time, so if it's a big one you may have to design it into the tree.

I'll wait for pictures before saying anything else.

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Re: crape myrtle Lagerstroemia indica

Post  fiona on Sat Sep 19, 2009 1:23 pm

Totally different climate zone here in the west of Scotland so I don't feel able to "advise" Seth, but FWIW I cut mine in early summer two years ago from a 3' high tree (trunk diameter of nearly 2") to a Shohin size about 8" high so the cut was quite large. But absolutely no "bleed" of any description. Heck of a lot of new growth from the scar which has needed to be kept in check but has at least given me plenty foliage to use in hiding the cut. It has also sprouted like fury everywhere else. Although I was warned about hardiness, it has done fairly well here - outdoors from late May-late October(ish) and in a cold glasshouse over the winter.

Jim, what have you got yours growing in? I will need a repot next spring as I am concerned that the Scottish rain will do for it before the cold will. It's currently in pretty much the garden compost mix I got it in with only a bit of kyodama through it.

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Re: crape myrtle Lagerstroemia indica

Post  Seth Ellwood on Sat Sep 19, 2009 4:20 pm

Thanks for the replys . The cut that I will be making just so works out to be what I am going to call for a lack of a better term a sacrifitial branch(you will see when pics come today)I will be well hidden in the back of the tree in the design I see for this tree. I have a trunk caliper so will include a shot of that as well but my guess at the moment the trunk is approx 2 to 2 1/2 in.

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Re: crape myrtle Lagerstroemia indica

Post  Seth Ellwood on Sat Sep 19, 2009 5:40 pm

As promised here are the pics of this tree the major chop will be to the largest straight branch

here is a pic of the nebari from what I can tell the nebari is 360 degrees around the tree but their is a diffrent species of plant in the pot with the tree at the moment and the nurseryman said it is a rare one so I did not want to disturb it as it could also be used as a future bonsai .Leaves like a zelkova and flowers are white then has a small whtie ball shaped seed pod or fruit cluster. I think he called it a snow ball tree??You can see it in the background of the first pic off to the left.

and this is what I see as the front of the tree

and the trunk diameter is approx 2and 3/4

as you can see the largest branch will be in the rear and hidden to scar over .I will keep the rest of the branches untill spring or next season to help with healing the sacr over and then will remove or reduce to build ramification.When I repot in spring it will be going in one of the smaller cement nixing tubs to let it grow freely and to help recover. Discuss.

Seth.

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Re: crape myrtle Lagerstroemia indica

Post  JimLewis on Sat Sep 19, 2009 8:31 pm

I assume you are going to cut that huge trunk. ????

Lovely base on this one and nice movement at the bottom, too.

Have fun. The are becoming one of my favorite trees.

Fiona, mine are planted in 70-80% Turface. We've had 4 inches of rain in the last two days. More on the way.

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Re: crape myrtle Lagerstroemia indica

Post  Seth Ellwood on Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:10 am

Yes the large one is the one that has to go so do you think if I was to chop it now it would give the tree extra time to calus b4 next spring? Or should I wait?

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Re: crape myrtle Lagerstroemia indica

Post  EdMerc on Sun Sep 20, 2009 2:38 am

Very nice. I like it.

I also thought at one time that these trees did not "bleed", but just a few weeks ago, I pruned a number of my crape myrtles and when I went around to apply wound sealant I was surprised to find "water" accumulating around the cuts. The trees where losing water from the wounds. I had not noticed that before, but I usually treat cuts immediately. This time about an hour or so had passed.

Good luck with that and keep us updated.
Ed

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Re: crape myrtle Lagerstroemia indica

Post  Seth Ellwood on Sun Sep 20, 2009 3:13 am

Thanks for the reply ED.That is exactly what happened to one of the ones I had and it continued to bleed for almost a week and I could not get the wound sealant to dry it went as far as bubbling the wound sealant up and continued to bleed untill it exhausted all of the sap if that is what it was and proceeded to die.That is why I am leary of cutting this tree now however if I can get a jump on calousing the wound I wish to do so.Everything I read states to do heavy pruning in fall but to risk this tree over pruning during the not so optimum time is not worth the risk imo.

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Re: crape myrtle Lagerstroemia indica

Post  JimLewis on Sun Sep 20, 2009 1:21 pm

Well, you can see the size of the cuts I made in these. Neither was a bleeder.




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Re: crape myrtle Lagerstroemia indica

Post  bumblebee on Sun Sep 20, 2009 5:39 pm

I've read somewhere that the dwarf crepe myrtles are best for bonsai because long shoots necessary for the big one to flower mess up your design too badly. Are you using dwarves? Or how do you get the big ones to stay in line, so to speak, when flowering?

Libby

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Re: crape myrtle Lagerstroemia indica

Post  JimLewis on Sun Sep 20, 2009 7:11 pm

I only occasionally let them flower, and when they do they're rather unkempt looking. I grow them for winter bark patterns and fall color -- though they look OK as "just plain trees" in summer, too.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: crape myrtle Lagerstroemia indica

Post  Seth Ellwood on Sun Sep 20, 2009 7:57 pm

Ok I am going to take the plunge and make the cut today following some wound sealant . I will reserve cutting anything else on this tree for later.The remaining branches are small and I think spring would be better to reduce length vs total removable.And allow some ramification I also want to leave the rest of the branches due to them still having leaves to generate more energy storage for dormancy.What does everyone think?

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Re: crape myrtle Lagerstroemia indica

Post  JimLewis on Sun Sep 20, 2009 7:59 pm

Do it!

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: crape myrtle Lagerstroemia indica

Post  Seth Ellwood on Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:17 pm

Pics to follow stay tuned !!!

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Re: crape myrtle Lagerstroemia indica

Post  Seth Ellwood on Sun Sep 20, 2009 9:27 pm

The deed is done and no sap flow to report at the moment bounce
side view b4 cut
after chop after carve
cut paste added
and lastly the new apex.I will let this continue to grow to thicken it up b4 reducing the heigth again.

Discuss
Seth

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Re: crape myrtle Lagerstroemia indica

Post  Seth Ellwood on Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:47 am

So far so good with this one as well It is back budding in good places to help aid in healing and future branch placement and is growing strong bounce



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Re: crape myrtle Lagerstroemia indica

Post  bonsainotwar on Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:28 pm

Yikes.I once killed a crepe with drastic pruning like that.

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Re: crape myrtle Lagerstroemia indica

Post  Seth Ellwood on Sat Apr 24, 2010 3:14 am

I have as well but I took a chance and chopped it back last fall right after the leavs started turning and this is what it came up with .I also chopped one in the spring right b4 bud break and it bled out and died so go figure?? As you can see in the pic I left all the other branches alone so mabye this helped out the situation all the tree had to do was re direct sap flow and not have to re build the entire structure.

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Re: crape myrtle Lagerstroemia indica

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