Tree Services - Joshua Tree Service

How to Prune Crape Myrtles the Right Way and Avoid “Crepe Murder”


Why Prune Crape Myrtles? 

Pruning crape myrtles isn’t just about aesthetics, though that is important too! Here are some of the benefits: 

  • Maintains a natural form: Proper pruning encourages a strong branching structure that can support the weight of blooms. This prevents weak, drooping branches.
  • Increases flowering: Pruning removes excess growth that can crowd out flower buds. This allows for better air circulation and sunlight penetration, both of which contribute to more blooms.
  • Reveals beautiful bark: Mature crape myrtles develop stunning, multi-toned bark on their trunks. Pruning allows this bark to be showcased in all its glory. 

When to Prune Crape Myrtles

The best time to prune crape myrtles is in late winter, just before new growth begins. This is typically from mid-February to mid-March in most southern regions. Here’s why late winter is ideal: 

  • Easy to see the branch structure: With the leaves gone, you can easily assess the tree’s framework and identify any branches that need removal.
  • Doesn’t affect blooming: Crape myrtles bloom on new growth, so pruning in late winter won’t sacrifice any flowers. 

Tools You’ll Need

  • Hand pruners: For twigs and branches less than ½ inch thick.
  • Loppers: For branches ½ inch to 1½ inches thick.
  • Pole pruners or pruning saw: For branches thicker than 1½ inches. 

How to Prune Crape Myrtles the Right Way

Here’s a step-by-step guide to pruning your crape myrtle for optimal health and beauty: 

  1. Reduce the Number of Trunks (if necessary): Crape myrtles naturally have multiple trunks, but you can limit them to improve form and prevent overcrowding. Choose 3-5 main trunks with good spacing and remove any extras by cutting them back to the ground.
  2. Remove Suckers: These small shoots that sprout around the base can become unruly if left unchecked. Pull them out now to keep your crape myrtle looking neat.
  3. Raise the Canopy: For a more tree-like appearance, remove any branches extending from the trunk below 5 feet (or higher for larger trees). This allows for air circulation and creates a more open feel.
  4. Thin the Upper Branches: Focus on removing inward-growing branches, rubbing branches, and dead branches. Make clean cuts just above an outward-facing bud or at the branch collar (the swollen area where the branch joins the trunk).
  5. Remove Seed Pods (optional): While not necessary, you can remove seed pods if you find them unsightly or if they weigh down the branches. However, leaving them on won’t affect flowering next year. 

Restoring a Butchered Crape Myrtle

If your crape myrtle has already been a victim of “crepe murder,” don’t despair! Here’s how to get it back on track: 

  • Severe Pruning: If the tree has been cut back to a nub, cut it all the way to the ground. It will grow back quickly. The next winter, select your desired number of trunks and remove the rest. Follow the pruning steps above in subsequent years. 
  • Hat-Racked Crape Myrtle: If the main branches have been pruned to the same height, follow these steps: 
    • Remove any “knuckled knobs” from the branch tops. 
    • Prune off all but a few select shoots that will become the new main branches. 
    • Repeat this process for 3 years, removing any unwanted side shoots. 
    • Train the saved shoots to grow upward and outward, eventually forming a beautiful tree. 

Avoid These Pruning Mistakes

  • Topping: This is the practice of cutting off the tops of branches to control height. It results in weak, unsightly growth and prevents the development of beautiful bark.
  • Pruning in Fall: Fall pruning removes new growth that could protect the tree from winter damage. It also leaves an unattractive, pruned look throughout the winter. 

Local Marietta, GA Tree Service

If you have questions or concerns about your trees in Marietta, GA, don’t hesitate to contact Joshua Tree Service. We offer a free consultation and can help you determine the best course.

Tree Trimming vs. Tree Removal: Keeping Your Marietta Landscape Thriving


Trees are majestic additions to our properties, providing shade, beauty, and even habitat for wildlife. But sometimes, trees can become overgrown, diseased, or simply outgrow their designated space. This can lead to a dilemma: should you trim the tree or remove it altogether?

Here at Joshua Tree Service, we understand the importance of maintaining a healthy and vibrant landscape in Marietta, GA. This blog post will help you navigate the decision between tree trimming and tree removal, considering the benefits and drawbacks of each option.

Tree Trimming: Maintaining a Healthy & Manageable Tree 

Tree trimming involves the selective removal of branches with the goal of improving the overall health, appearance, and safety of a tree. Here are some key benefits of tree trimming:

Tree Removal: When Trimming Isn’t Enough 

While tree trimming offers numerous advantages, there are situations where tree removal becomes the most appropriate course of action. Here are some indicators that a tree might need removal:

Consulting a Certified Arborist in Marietta 

Making an informed decision about tree trimming or removal often requires the expertise of a certified arborist. A certified arborist can assess the health and condition of your tree, recommend the most suitable course of action, and ensure the work is completed safely and properly. Here at Joshua Tree Service, our team of ISA-certified arborists can provide a comprehensive evaluation of your trees and guide you towards the right decision for your Marietta property.

The Takeaway: Prioritizing a Healthy & Beautiful Landscape 

Ultimately, the choice between tree trimming and removal depends on the specific situation and the long-term goals for your landscape. By understanding the benefits of each option and consulting with a qualified arborist, you can make an informed decision that promotes the health, beauty, and safety of your Marietta property.

Contact Joshua Tree Service Today! 

If you have questions or concerns about your trees in Marietta, GA, don’t hesitate to contact Joshua Tree Service. We offer a free consultation and can help you determine the best course of action for your trees, whether it’s trimming or removal. We prioritize the health of your trees and the beauty of your landscape.

The Average Price to Cut Down a Tree in Marietta, GA

The Average Price to Cut Down a Tree in Marietta, GA

Thinking About Tree Removal?

Ready to call a tree service company for your Marietta, GA property? You’re not alone. Trees add beauty and value to our homes, but sometimes they need to come down due to safety concerns, disease, or simply outgrowing their space.

Understanding the Average Cost

Here at Joshua Tree Service, we understand that tree removal can be a significant project. One of the most common questions we hear is: “How much does it cost to cut down a tree?”

This blog post will give you a good starting point for understanding the average price to cut down a tree in Marietta, GA, and the factors that can influence the final cost.

The Average Cost

In Marietta, the average cost to remove a tree falls around $850. However, it’s important to remember this is just a general estimate. The actual cost for your specific project can vary depending on several factors.

Factors Affecting the Price of Tree Removal

Tree Size

Generally, the larger the tree (diameter and height), the more complex and expensive the removal will be. This is because larger trees require more manpower, specialized equipment, and time to take down safely.

Tree Species

Hardwood trees like oak tend to be denser and more challenging to remove compared to softer woods like pine.

Tree Health

Dead or diseased trees can be more hazardous to remove, potentially increasing the cost.


Trees near power lines, buildings, or other obstacles require more careful planning and execution, impacting the price.

Ease of Access

If the tree is difficult to access with heavy machinery, it may require additional labor or techniques, driving up the cost.

Stump Removal

Some quotes may include stump removal, while others may not. Be sure to clarify this before finalizing a service agreement.

Additional Considerations

Getting the Best Value for Your Tree Removal Project

To ensure you get the best value for your tree removal project, we recommend getting multiple quotes from reputable and certified arborists like Joshua Tree Service.

Why Choose Joshua Tree Service?

Local Expertise: Marietta Tree Removal

Marietta boasts a diverse range of tree species. Here at Joshua Tree Service, we’re familiar with the common trees in our area, including:

We understand the specific challenges and considerations associated with removing these trees in the Marietta landscape.

Ready to Get Started with Tree Removal in Marietta, GA?

If you’re considering tree removal in Marietta, GA, contact Joshua Tree Service today for a free consultation and quote. We’ll answer your questions, assess your unique situation, and provide a transparent price estimate.

Remember: Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns. We’re here to help!

Contact us today for a free quote!