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Florida - Trying to save an abused crape myrtle

Winter Park, FL

During a recent job I was on, I removed a 6-7 foot crape myrtle (rather forcefully with a chain and bobcat. We were in a hurry). The tree was out of the ground about 12 hours before I could get it home and into a bucket of water. A couple of days later I transplanted the tree using gardening soil. By this time all the leaves on the crape myrtle had turned brown. There were just a few green leaves still showing. The tree has been in the ground for about 4-5 days and appears to have a pulse as I am still seeing some green. I would really like to see this tree live as it has beautiful white blooms when healthy and it has sure been through a lot of pain!!! My questions is, should I prune back the dead growth or just allow the tree to recover?

Prairieville, LA(Zone 9a)

Hi Dan. Crapemyrtles are fairly easy to transplant, this one may take a little special care. First check the trunk for damage from the chain. If the trunk has injuries, you may have problems...but, treat the injuries with a fungicide to protect the tree.

You can remove any dead branches. Included is a link for pruning crapemyrtles http://thedailysouth.southernliving.com/2009/02/24/what-concerns-p/

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep399


. Make sure that the plant receives adequate water and you can use a root stimulator product like Green Light root stimulator, mixed per directions...this encourages the plant to put out feeder roots. When you water, be sure to soak the area slowly so water reaches all the way down to the bottom. I would not recommend fertilizing at this point, as you want good, well established roots rather than a lot of growth right now.

Hope this helps

Winter Park, FL

Thanks for the advice and info MOONHOWL.

Dan

Powder Springs, GA(Zone 7b)

Definitely keep it watered. I moved 4 last fall but didn't water them and only one lived. But on the other hand the severed roots where I dug them up have sent up several new shoots so all is not lost.

Prairieville, LA(Zone 9a)

You are most welcome Dan. Good luck to you.

It also may not be a bad idea to try to give it a little shade in the hottest part of the day...use a patio umbrella, old sheet with sticks....whatever you can rig up for it to block some of the direct sun..just for a couple weeks while it is putting out new roots.

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