Lagerstroemia - Crape Myrtle - Fall Color
The Crape Myrtle Trees do wonderfully in the inland valleys. They are brightly festuned with flowers for much of the summer. However they are vulnerable to mildew near the coast. The trunk and branches have a sinuous look. The bark is smooth and fascinating to look at in much the same way as manzanita trunks. The Crape Myrtle trees need to be watched for suckering near the base. They often do this prolifically if the soil is disturbed in their root zone. In the winter the spent blooms and twiggy branches should be removed the ripening seed can weigh the branches down and alter the shape of the tree. Crape Myrtle Trees are often quite late to start budding out in the spring. I have seen live trees removed because their owners thought them dead. The leaves usually turn to yellow in the Fall but some varieties turn red. I like to use them for their Fall color display as much as for the flowers.
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