Like other trees and shrubs, crape myrtles in North Texas are not adapted to hard freezes like we had in February 2021. However, crape myrtles are hardier than many other area plants, and should recover completely, although they may bloom a little late.
Don’t Give Up on Your Crape Myrtles: WAIT!
Like with live oaks, we will have to wait a few weeks to know how crape myrtles handled the freezing weather. Even though they survived the freeze, the cold temperatures were a shock to the trees’ systems, and recovery takes time.
- We expect to see crape myrtles budding and leafing out 2 to 4 weeks later than usual.
- May be less new growth and fewer buds
- If the trees were healthy before the freeze, should recover completely.
- We recommend leaving new sprouts growing from the base until the crape myrtle is blooming normally.
- If there are dead trunks, these sprouts can grow to replace them.
- Keep an eye out for common crape myrtles health issues as the trees recover from the freeze:
- Crape myrtle bark scale
- Sooty mold
- Powdery mildew
- If crape myrtles have shown no new growth by the end of April:
- Remove all dead wood down to the highest level of living tissue
- May need to trim down to ground level and let sprouts replace all trunks
- If your crape myrtles survived the frost, consider a plant health care program to keep them healthy
- Finally, as always, DO NOT TOP CRAPE MYRTLES!
- For guidance on proper trimming, consult an ISA Certified Arborist
At Texas Tree Surgeons, we love trees and we love our community! The freezing weather in February 2021 will continue to have effects on area trees for years to come. Frost-damaged trees will need extra care and attention. We offer conprehensive plant health care programs that help stressed trees get the nutrients they need and fight pests. Our staff of ISA Certified Arborists are available to assess your trees and see if they need immediate action, or if it is best to wait and see how they recover. For questions about crape myrtles or any other tree, get in touch!