Jan 18, 2012 10:47 AM by AP
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - LSU AgCenter horticulture experts have advice for anyone who has a crape myrtle: don't lop the top. Many crape myrtles get cut back almost to the trunk at midwinter each year, giving the tree a crew-cut appearance.
Dan Gill, Kyle Huffstickler and Allen Owings say many gardeners think that style of pruning, called pollarding, is the way crape myrtles ought to be trimmed to bloom well.
But the experts say in a weekly column from the AgCenter that although there's lush growth at the cut sites, those new branches are weak and more likely to succumb to fungal diseases - and the trees themselves won't live as long.