What Should You Expect When Removing Crepe Myrtles?

remove_crepe_myrtleRemoving crepe myrtles should only be undertaken under extreme caution. They’re tricky to remove. It’s best to remove a crepe myrtle before it grows to full height. Even then, it can be done, but you’re best bet is to hire a professional like us at Austin Tree Service. We have experience with successfully removing crepe (aka crape) myrtles.

We will give you the procedure to remove a full grown crape myrtle. As you’ll see, it can be time-consuming and dangerous. You want to make sure you do it correctly so the crepe myrtle won’t keep coming back. Here are the steps.

  1. Use protective eye gear, thick work gloves and a mask. If using a chain saw, you’ll want to insert ear plugs. They’ll keep your ears safe. Remember – safety first.
  2. Apply an oil-soluble herbicide to the bark of an immature crepe myrtle. This is for trunks smaller than 6 inches in diameter. This special type of herbicide penetrates the waxy protective layer of the tree’s bark and will eventually travel to the roots, killing them. This is slower and, perhaps, a better alternative to cutting down the tree. Once it’s dead and rotted, you can easily remove the tree with a spade or shovel.
  3. If your crape myrtle’s trunk diameter is bigger than 12 inches, you’ll want to level it to the ground with a chain saw. For smaller trees, you’ll only have to make one pass. For larger trees, more than one is necessary. This is when you should consider hiring a tree professional like us.
  4. Drill evenly spaced holes in the remains of the trunk with a power drill.
  5. Pour a concentrated herbicide into the holes you made in the trunk. It will penetrate the crape myrtle’s vascular system and attack the roots from the inside. You should time the removal of the crepe myrtle and herbicide application to the tree’s growth phase. This occurs during the warmer seasons of the year. In cooler weather, the dormant roots make it harder for the herbicide to travel through the entire plant.
  6. Apply the concentrated herbicide to the flat top of the trunk with a paint brush.
  7. Dig up immature crape myrtles at the base of the tree with a spade or shovel. Remove the entire root system. This will prevent the tree from growing back from the roots. If you don’t think you can properly handle this yourself, great. If not, we would love for you to contact us at 512-341-8888. We will be happy to remove the crepe myrtle for you and make sure it’s gone completely.
  8. Spray any shoots that appear in the location of the removed crape myrtle with broadleaf herbicide.

We want you to have a successful crepe myrtle removal regardless of how you remove it. Please feel free to contact us with any concerns. Our certified arborist, Adam, can make sure your tree is removed and will never return.