Winter Cut-Backs: Ornamental Grasses and Crepe Myrtles
As we prepare to reach mid-late winter, it is important to start thinking about cutting back your ornamental grasses and crepe myrtles! Late winter is a great time to do this. For best results, it is recommended to cut ornamental grasses down to about 4-6 inches above the ground. You can do this with hand shears or electric shears.
Crepe Myrtles are easiest to cut back in the winter. There are no leaves on the tree so you can easily see all of its branches. When cutting back your crepe myrtle in the late winter, it is important to avoid “topping” your tree. Tree “topping” is over-pruning your tree to the point where it creates short and unattractive-looking stumps on all of the tree branches. “Topping” your crepe myrtle will severely affect its ability to thrive and produce beautiful blooms in the spring. To avoid over-pruning, start by pruning a few bundles of sticks and crossing/rubbing branches at a time. Your goal when cutting back a crepe myrtle is to maintain well-spaced large/main branches and thin out the center to allow sunlight and wildlife access to the tree.