Join Master Gardeners for tree pruning

Published 12:17 am Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Adams County Master Gardeners will be pruning crape myrtles and conducting training on proper pruning techniques in January and February.

Training is free and open to the public.

What better way to learn how to properly prune your own trees at the same time you are working on crape myrtle trees around town for the enjoyment of all?

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This is a special year for crape myrtles in Natchez. The Natchez International Crape Myrtle Festival will be held in June.

The festival will be held in honor of Sallie Ballard. Over 20 years ago, Ballard made it her mission to plant Natchez White Crape Myrtles (Lagerstroemia x ‘Natchez’) throughout the city.

In 2009, she was presented the Historic Preservation Award by the Natchez Historical Society for her efforts.

On her 90th birthday in 2016, she was presented with the Key to the City of Natchez by Mayor Butch Brown for a lifetime of service to her community.

The Natchez Crape Myrtle, a U.S. National Arboretum cross of Lagerstroemia indica and L. Fauriei, is a 1998 Mississippi Medallion winner.

It is a 21-foot-tall tree with showy white blooms. It’s deep cinnamon brown bark develops around the fifth year. The fall foliage on the Natchez is beautiful. The Natchez White is resistant to powdery mildew and is great focal point for a home landscape.

With the upcoming festival, it is imperative that our crape myrtles look especially beautiful this year.

The first pruning and training session will be held at 9 a.m. Thursday beginning at the gazebo on the bluff.

Bring pruners or loppers if you have them. After a short training session and a hands-on demonstration, you will head out with master gardeners to start pruning along the bluff.

Future sessions will be on Jan. 24, Feb. 14 and Feb. 28. Watch listings in Tracings for specific times and locations.

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