Are crepe myrtle roots invasive? (2024)

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Are crepe myrtle tree roots invasive?

Crape myrtle do not have invasive root systems, which may be one reason they are used as sidewalk margin trees. They don't lift the sidewalks as so many other trees do. And their beautiful fall color is another reward.

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Can crape myrtle roots damage a foundation?

Whether you're planting one for the first time or adding another, you don't need to worry too much about what the tree's roots will do. Crape Myrtles don't have aggressive or invasive roots, so they aren't known to be harmful to foundations, concrete, or pipes.

(Video) What damage can crepe myrtles do to my foundation?
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Are crape myrtles OK to plant near a house?

*All Crape Myrtles have non-invasive roots. You can plant them next to a sidewalk, foundation and even a pool. They will not harm structures in any way.

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How far away from the house should a crepe myrtle be planted?

As a general rule of thumb, plant crape myrtles of this mature size a minimum of 8 to 10 feet from a building wall, and farther if you can. This spacing gives the plant room to expand to its full size.

(Video) Q&A - I cut down my crape myrtle. How do I stop the suckers?
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How far do crepe myrtle roots spread?

Be prepared for a lot of digging, though: The roots of a crape myrtle can extend two or three times as far as the branches once reached.

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Where should you not plant crepe myrtles?

The site should be in the bright, hot sun: full or partial sun (6hrs min). No heavy shade for Crape Myrtles. If the site gets sun for part of the day then it's fine. But they do best in Full, Hot Sun.

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What are the cons of crepe myrtles?

One of the disadvantages of crape myrtles shows up when conditions are damp and humid: powdery mildew. A fungal disease, it appears as white powdery spots on the leaves and stems. The lower leaves are usually the most affected, but powdery mildew can appear on any part of the tree.

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Will crepe myrtle roots damage concrete?

The crepe myrtle root system will not harm your foundation. The crepe myrtle root system can extend a considerable distance, but the roots are not aggressive. The roots are relatively weak and will not insert themselves into nearby foundations, sidewalks or endanger nearly plants.

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How do you keep crepe myrtles from spreading?

Make a flush cut. Do not leave a stub or several suckers will appear for every one you cut off. To prevent suckers from growing back so fast, treat the freshly cut spots with a product such as Monterey Sucker Stopper (some local nurseries may carry this, or you can order online).

(Video) How to Propagate Crape Myrtles from Cuttings
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Are all crepe myrtles invasive?

While crepe myrtle plants do have extensive root systems, they are typically not invasive. These plants grow many fine roots in a net-like fibrous root system.

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Is crepe myrtle a good tree?

Crape myrtles are wildly popular in the South for good reason. They bloom in the summer, when there are few other trees and shrubs providing that service. The larger varieties grow rather quickly, providing a bit of shade in addition to the seasonal color.

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How long do crepe myrtle trees live?

Crepe myrtles have a lifespan of around 25 years. However, some crepe myrtles have been known to live for 100 years or more! This tree does best in full sun and well-drained soil.

Are crepe myrtle roots invasive? (2024)
How close can you plant a crepe myrtle to a fence?

Crepe myrtles make a colorful hedge in the garden, but they need plenty of room to grow. Depending on the variety, they can grow up to 25 feet tall and 20 feet wide. Keeping the mature size in mind, plant them at least three feet from your fencing to prevent crowding and provide enough space for the canopy.

How big is a crepe myrtle root ball?

Dig around the outside of the roots, taking a root ball that is some 2 to 3 feet (. 6-. 9 m.) in diameter.

Can you keep a crepe myrtle small?

If you need to prune your crapemyrtle tree or shrub, thinning branches to limb up the crapemyrtle is the correct method. Remove lower limbs that are thinner than a pencil diameter. While the plant is young, it is acceptable to prune the top of the branches. When it gets older, this is unacceptable.

Do hummingbirds like crepe myrtles?

Do they attract birds? Yes, Twighlight Crape Myrtle trees attract hummingbirds as well as pollinators like butterflies and bees.

Can I cut crepe myrtle roots?

From a pure health perspective, Crepe Myrtles should be pruned in the same fashion as shade trees, by removing crossing limbs and canes, root sprouts, and deadwood. This type of pruning can be done any time of the year and is the most beneficial to the long-term health, structural integrity, and longevity of the plant.

What kills crepe myrtle roots?

Answer: To stop the crape myrtle from coming up from the roots you can apply a phenoxy herbicide product like Dicamba or 2,4D. The herbicide will kill the roots too. You can also use sucker stopper which is a plant growth regulator.

Why not to prune crepe myrtles?

On the other hand, there is no reason to aggressively prune a crape myrtle, if the tree is healthy and not causing any issues. “Crape myrtles are beautiful trees. They do not require any pruning to encourage summer blossoms, and can grow to be tall, prolific showpieces for any landscape,” said Strickland.

What is the best month to plant crepe myrtles?

Late fall to early spring is the best time to plant. But a lot of folks buy and plant their crepe myrtle in summer because they select it while it is blooming. That works too, but watering well during the summer months is crucial to transitioning it into your garden.

What is the difference between crepe myrtle and crape myrtle?

Commonly called the “lilac of the South,” the spelling of this tree is a litmus test of geographic origins. Crepe myrtle is the most commonly accepted “southern” spelling; north of some unspecified crepe-myrtle line, it becomes crape myrtle.

What is the prettiest crape myrtle?

Best Crape Myrtles by Size
  • Red: Petite Red Imp, Petite Red Embers.
  • Pink: Petite Pinkie, Pokemoke.
  • Lavender: Petite Orchid.
  • Purple: Petite Plum, Centennial, Velma's Royal Delight.
  • White: Petite Snow.

Are crepe myrtles high maintenance?

Crape myrtle is a relatively low-maintenance choice for landscaping in the appropriate region, but they do require some specific care for their showy blooms to flourish. To help your crape myrtle look its very best… Crape myrtle needs full sun (6 or more hours per day) to thrive.

Should you put mulch around crepe myrtles?

Mulch to fight weeds, trap moisture

When planting crape myrtles, gardeners should install a layer of mulch about 3 to 5 inches deep in an area twice as large as the planting hole. Insect damage is a frequent problem on crape myrtles and aphids cause much of that damage.

How do I keep tree roots from growing under concrete?

Install root barriers before the roots reach the concrete. Cut the roots and dam them with root barriers to prevent further growth. Cut down the tree and remove the root system so you can make a smooth, level surface again.

Are crepe myrtles hard to remove?

Crepe myrtles, also known as crape myrtles or Lagerstroemia, can give your yard vibrant injections of white, pink-purple, and red when in bloom. But when they start causing problems through unruly branches or insect infestations, they can be quite difficult to remove thanks to their drought tolerance.

What happens if you cut a crepe myrtle to the ground?

If you've beheaded a big crepe myrtle to within a few feet of the ground, there's only one solution. Cut the sorry plant completely to the ground. It will grow back very quickly.

Will grass grow under crepe myrtle?

If you can't put a Crape in full sun, plant something else. Keep the area under the canopy free of turfgrass. Turf is a wonderful feature in lawns, just not directly under crape myrtles. Grass does an excellent job of scavenging nutrients and water that otherwise would benefit the crape myrtle above.

What is the best crape myrtle tree for a small yard?

The Catawba, the Pink Velour and the Black Diamond series are perfect for a small yard or when you are looking for a tree hedge or border. When you are looking for a showy, focal tree, look to the larger crape myrtle varieties like the Dynamite, purple Muskogee, Natchez, and the cold hardy Red Rocket.

What are the benefits of the crepe myrtle plant?

Crapemyrtle aphids and their sugary honeydew are food for twenty to thirty species of beneficial insect predators (good bugs that feed on harmful bugs) and countless bees and wasps. The crape myrtle flowers also attract and provide nectar and pollen to many important pollinating bees.

How fast do crape myrtle roots grow?

In general, crape myrtles grow at a medium to fast growth rate at about 1-2 feet per year. Hence where they get their nickname – fast growing trees!

How long does it take for a crepe myrtle tree to grow to full size?

Crape myrtles grow quickly. According to the Arbor Day Foundation, “this shrub grows at a fast rate, with height increases of more than 24 inches per year.” Crape myrtles generally grow between 15-25 feet tall, so most trees take five to 10 years to mature.

How many years does it take for a crepe myrtle to bloom?

Your crepe myrtle may not be blooming if it is only a young tree – it can take 3-5 years for a tree to become established enough to flower. This may sound like a long time, but bear in mind that the trees take 5-10 years to mature, and 20-50 years to reach their ultimate size.

When should you cut back a crepe myrtle tree?

February is a good time to prune crape myrtles. It should be done before fresh growth appears in March. Its toughness makes crape myrtle a popular plant. They are fast-growing and highly adaptable.

Can you plant a crape myrtle next to a driveway?

Those roots compete for water, so nearby neighbors may be malformed or might not thrive. However, the roots are not invasive, so you need not worry about planting them close to concrete driveways and sidewalks. In fact, crepe myrtles look perfect along neighborhood pathways.

Are crepe myrtles fast or slow growers?

The common crape myrtle can reach a height of 15–25' and a spread of 6–15' at maturity. With ideal planting conditions this shrub grows at a fast rate, with height increases of more than 24" per year.

Do you cut crepe myrtles above or below the knot?

If you cut below the knot, a new knot forms in its place. The tree never reverts to its naturally beautiful shape, but through proper pruning of a crepe myrtle tree, you may be able to make the knots less noticeable.

How deep do you bury a crepe myrtle?

Dig a Hole
  1. Dig a hole three to four times as wide as the container. For example, if your root ball is 2 to 3 feet wide. You'll want your hole to be between 6 and twelve feet wide. ...
  2. You want to make it easy for the plant's roots to grow outward. The hole should not be deeper than the height of the container.

How many trunks should a crepe myrtle have?

For most crape myrtles, there will be three to seven main trunks. Having an odd number of trunks will be more pleasing to the eye than an even number. Be sure to keep the trunks that have ample space to grow and are growing straight and strong. Trim away the others.

Why do they cut the tops off crepe myrtles?

The objectives of pruning a crepe myrtle are to maintain its natural form, produce strong branches that hold blooms upright, and open up its center to reveal the multi-toned bark that forms on their trunk.

Should you deadhead crape myrtles?

Q: Do you have to deadhead crape myrtle trees to get more flowers? A: No, you do not have to deadhead the Southern lilac (crepe or crape myrtle, depending on what source you consult), but it does help to stimulate more flowers when you do — if you can reach them.

Is there a difference between crepe myrtle trees and bushes?

The crepe myrtle bush has smaller leaves and a smaller crown spread but does have a more diverse flower color range than the crepe myrtle tree. In addition to these differences, the crepe myrtle bush is much hardier compared to the crepe myrtle tree.

How do you control crepe myrtle roots?

Answer: To stop the crape myrtle from coming up from the roots you can apply a phenoxy herbicide product like Dicamba or 2,4D. The herbicide will kill the roots too. You can also use sucker stopper which is a plant growth regulator.

How big are the roots of a crape myrtle?

Like many trees, crape myrtles have a shallow root system that grows just below the surface of the soil. Crape myrtles produce dense mats of fibrous roots that are approximately 12 inches deep. These root systems can spread up to three times as wide as the crape myrtle's canopy.

What problems do crepe myrtles have?

Crape myrtles (Lagerstroemia indica) are essentially trouble-free small trees. The most common problems include powdery mildew, Cercospora leaf spot, aphids, Japanese beetles, and sooty mold.

How long do crepe myrtles live?

Crepe myrtles have a lifespan of around 25 years. However, some crepe myrtles have been known to live for 100 years or more! This tree does best in full sun and well-drained soil.

How do you get rid of crepe myrtles?

A: In brief, cut the crepe myrtle and Bradford pear suckers at the base of the tree with some sharp pruners as close to the ground as possible during the summer. If the suckers are from a tree you recently have cut down, keep mowing them down before they have a chance to leaf out.

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