Crepe Murder is a huge problem this time of the year. There is no need to cut back Crepe Myrtles. There is no benefit and the removal of limbs and twiggy growth is actually detrimental. This is a crime perpetuated by well meaning home owners, ignorant landscapers, and landscapers who care more about making money in the winter then doing something that is in property owners best interest. There is no difference between whacking back a Live Oak or a Crepe Myrtle. Neither of these tree’s suffer any winter dieback that needs to be pruned back. The Crepe Myrtle seed pod tips die back as a part of the growth process but not from freeze damage.
The seed pods and the twiggy growth attached to them falls off naturally in the spring. Trimming out the seeds pod growth is not problematic but if you wait until spring Mother Nature will prune it back fee of charge.
It is very detrimental to chop up Crepe Myrtles. When spring comes the tree can no longer simply bud, leaf out, and start the process of making chlorophyll. Instead the tree must expend a lot of the energy trying to regrow limbs, twiggy growth, and then starting the process of making bugs prior to leafing out. The new growth grows so fast and weak in an attempt to repair the pruning damage that it is susceptible to damage from windy conditions or down bursts of heavy rain.
Despite knowledgeable landscapers writing many articles to try to educate the public the problem of Crepe murder does not go away and only gets worse each year. I do my part to educate people on the Crepe murder issue even though the odds are stacked against me stopping the practice from happening.