Need Help with My Crepe Myrtle!

8 months ago

I know it's a little hard to see in the photo below b/c the crepe myrtle is still being protected from the local deer population. I planted it two years ago. It's about 4' tall. I am in the mid-Atlantic area and it's early in the season.

The first year, it bloomed beautifully. The second year, it did not produce any new growth from the existing branches. New branches near the bottom started to sprout, and there were plenty of new suckers at the very bottom, which I completely removed. Last Fall it looked pretty bad. All of the branches you see in this photo remained totally bare.

Ultimately, I'd like to groom this into a tree with a few main trunks, I don't want a bush/shrub.

Now that it's early in the season, do I cut everything back? How do I encourage new growth on the existing branches? Is that even possible? I know I'll need to select the 3 or so main trunks at some point, but I'd sure like to see this tree have some nice growth for one season before I cut back to just a few trunks.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


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