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Split Trunk on Crape Myrtle

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Posts: 1
Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:43 pm   Post subject: Split Trunk on Crape Myrtle

Hi--I'm brand new to the forum and hoping someone can tell me what happened to my crape myrtles so that I don't do it again! We planted four Tontos about six years ago. We cut them back every spring and they performed beautifully. This year, they started to grow from the top as usual, then we had another cold snap (we're in west central FL) that killed the new growth. That's happened in other years, with no resulting problems. This year, however, the trunks split a bit, now nothing is growing on the top, but new growth is coming from the ground. The trees trunks are about 4 1/2 ft. tall, so I'm really upset. Does anyone have any thoughts as to what might have happened? The temp here only goes down to the mid-20s. Thanks for any help anyone can provide.

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Plants Moderator
Regular Plants Contributor

North Texas, Zone 8a
Posts: 15405
Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:07 pm   

Can you show us a picture of the Crepe Myrtle? My first guess would be that cutting it back every year has weakened it so that the frost is having more affect on it than it normally would.

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Forum Moderator

Posts: 23361
Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:18 pm   

Sorry to hear about your tree irbright. I'm not aware of anything that can be used for repairing splits in Crape Myrtles and it's impossible to say whether or not your tree can be saved.
If over 30 percent of the trunk of your tree has severely split it's probably a lost cause. Your tree is small, so even the smallest damage can have a large effect. You may have to cut the tree to just above the new growth at the bottom of the trunk. If you're really attached to the tree though and don't want to fell it then I'd try to get some advice from a tree expert.
Good luck and do let us know how you get on won't you?

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