Austin prides itself in being such a green city. It is the home to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and has beautiful displays of bluebonnets, parks and open green spaces throughout the city. However, as I was driving along MoPac this week, I was shocked to see the City of Austin employees hacking the grove of mature crape myrtles at the 35th Street exit. YIKES!!!
Proper pruning techniques should be taught to city employees before they are released with chainsaws and pruning shears. Better yet, they should leave the chainsaws back at the office and trim the crape myrtles the right way.
Pruning Techniques for Crape Myrtles:
• Prune trees in late winter during dormancy (January and February)
• Trim last season’s seed pods
• Selectively thin branches that cross or rub against one another
• Do not cut any branches thicker than your thumb. Don’t cut your thumb, either.
• KISS (remember last week’s blog?)
The branches and trunk of a crape myrtle have a sculpture-like quality to them in the winter. These drought tolerant trees can be enjoyed year round in the landscape, so leave the chain saw on the shelf and allow the popular Crape Myrtle to thrive with these proper pruning techniques.
On an unrelated note, if you’re looking for a great sushi restaurant, visit Mikado Ryotei. Nicole and I went there last Saturday and had a wonderful dinner. The sushi was fresh, the saki was hot and the atmosphere was perfect. The owner, Henry Wong, and his staff are knowledgeable and professional. Mikado Ryotei is located in Austin at 183 and Burnet.
Remember—The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is NOW!
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