Crapemyrtle tips helps City Cemetery

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Now is the time to prune crapemyrtles. Join the Adams County Master Gardeners at the City Cemetery to learn how. There will be a short lecture with photos and a hands-on demonstration.

We will then work on the crapemyrtles in our beautiful cemetery.

The history of crapemyrtles is fascinating. They are native to Southeast Asia and were introduced in the United States over 200 years ago. Lagerstroemia indica was the common species prior to 1960.

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A second species, L. faurier, was introduced from seed collected in the 1950s.Breeding work was conducted by the United States National Arboretum, and more than 25 new varieties were introduced, all bearing names of Native American Indian tribes. Some area favorites are the Tonto, the Sioux and, of course, our beloved Natchez White.

Proper pruning is important for crapemyrtles. Simply cutting the tops off may initially look fine, but it is detrimental to the health of the tree.

Instead, it is best to look for branches that are rubbing each other, which can destroy the beautiful bark and weaken the limbs.Pruning limbs that crowd into the interior of the tree is also important.

Poor air circulation can lead to an increase in disease.

Join us at the City Cemetery to learn more about how to care for our beautiful crapemyrtles. An added benefit is that we will be beautifying the cemetery while we work and learn.

Work days are scheduled for the second and fourth Thursdays in January and February: Jan. 9 and 23; Feb. 13 and 27. We begin at 9 a.m. each day. Bring pruners or loppers if you have them.

New Master Gardener classes are forming now. The classes are held on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, beginning Feb. 11. A fee of $95 covers all course materials and refreshments.

For additional information, call the Adams County Extension Office at 601-445-8201.

Karen O’Neal is the reporter for Adams County Master Gardeners.