I'm going to tell you about a little pet peeve of mine. As Tom and I were just out traveling in the area where we live we noticed that all the Crape Myrtles that were planted in the median of the road had been pruned back terribly. They were so pretty and had been blooming beautifully in May through early September. And as you probably already know, pruning crape myrtles is also called 'Crape murder'.
So.......Do Not prune your crape myrtles. There is absolutely no reason at all to do it. Many people do.....but why?? If you do ask someone why they just don't know.....they just shrug their shoulders....or they say that someone told that they needed to do it. I guess we're just creatures of habit.
You see workers along the roadsides pruning them, people observe this as they pass by in their cars and figure that those guys must know what they're doing and think it's the right thing to do......but it isn't.
If you do keep pruning your Crape Myrtles you are left with a big ugly knot where you did the pruning....and it's not a beautiful thing to see.
In reality it isn't healthy for the crape myrtle either. It leaves many large wounds that the tree must spend it's energies to heal over. While it is healing, it gives insects and other diseases an entryway into its limbs and branches.
Crape myrtles if left to grow naturally, and not be pruned, will be healthier and a more beautiful shrub or tree and will have more flowers every year.
Now you do have my permission to prune out a limb or branch if it's in your way or has been damaged. Prune at a branch angle so as not to lose the beauty of the tree.
So save yourself a little time and energy..........pull weeds instead!!