Crape Myrtle 1

cbroad

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Unkown variety, I haven't let it flower yet, but I believe it is pink.

I've had this crape since spring of 2019, bought it from @VAFisher (still have the pokomoke group too 👍), along with the Sara Rayner pot. It was clear from the beginning that he took good care of it and put some great detail into its development.

Here it is in 2019 when bought:

IMG_20190423_184155954.jpg


I've put some work into it so far, but nothing major, mostly maintenance pruning and wiring smaller branches, and trying to keep the apex in check...

The first year I got it, I did prune a decent sized branch off of the first left branch and wired another to fill the void.

I went ahead and repotted it for the first time last weekend, it was definitely due for one. It's in need of a haircut badly, but I'm going to wait for summer to prune.

Before any work:

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I'm unsure if it will push really hard after repotting and crapes can send out thick stems intially sometimes so hopefully waiting to prune will get me finer twigs later. Also I want the long leader to soak up the energy before I prune it off, hopefully that'll help with controlling the apex.

Right now with the long leader, it's about 27" tall by 23" wide. After pruning, the tree will be about 16" tall by 20" wide, that's about where I want to keep it.

I'm also letting the lowest branch on the right run, my plan is to let it thicken because currently it's thinner than the branch above it.

Out of the pot:

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After some root cutting:

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After more cutting and combing out the roots:

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Nebari still needs some work, but it's coming along; I was actually surprised to see some roots fusing already.

Did a little more cutting, then potted it up. Pic taken today:

IMG_20210413_152008790.jpg

I knew I was going to run out of soil, so I had to mix my lava and pumice with some Hoffman's bonsai soil I had laying around. It has turface, expanded shale, and pine bark (lots of fines too but I washed it all out beforehand). The turface and pine bark should help with a little more water retention which is good because this gets thirsty in the summer; I also use a cut to shape thick coco liner mat on top of the soil.
 
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JonW

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Thats awesome! I've been looking for a nice Chickasaw for some time.

I'll look forward to updates.
 

VAFisher

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Great to see it doing well. Looking forward to seeing where you take it.
 

cbroad

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Looking forward to seeing where you take it.
I'm really hesitant but I think at next repot I'm going to cut all of the branches back pretty hard to get more ramification, and probably cut the apex back even harder and rework it, but I have at least a couple years to decide. Design wise though, not much is going to change.

I think I lost a few interior branches over the winter, but nothing major. Still waiting to see if they pop.

And... after repotting it, I think I offset the tree a little too much to the right, so that will be fixed next time also.
 

VAFisher

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I'm really hesitant but I think at next repot I'm going to cut all of the branches back pretty hard to get more ramification, and probably cut the apex back even harder and rework it, but I have at least a couple years to decide. Design wise though, not much is going to change.

I think I lost a few interior branches over the winter, but nothing major. Still waiting to see if they pop.

And... after repotting it, I think I offset the tree a little too much to the right, so that will be fixed next time also.

Why wait? I would probably be inclined to let it go ahead and leaf out and harden off and cut it back hard this year. Maybe around June? It should explode.
 

cbroad

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Why wait?
I have a few excuses, but you're right, I probably should. At the very least, the apex needs some major attention; I can imagine I'll be replacing it every few years.

To be honest, I want to put my mark on this tree but I don't see any fundamental changes that should be done. I just need to thicken some branches, prune off overly thick branches, and get more twigs. That's about it, you set it up nicely!
 

namnhi

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I found that CM can be cut back hard two to three times per year if you want ramification. They will have lots of fine branches and smaller leaves. If the lower branches are shaded, they will decide to abandon them in favor of the upper branches.
Cheers
 

VAFisher

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I have a few excuses, but you're right, I probably should. At the very least, the apex needs some major attention; I can imagine I'll be replacing it every few years.

To be honest, I want to put my mark on this tree but I don't see any fundamental changes that should be done. I just need to thicken some branches, prune off overly thick branches, and get more twigs. That's about it, you set it up nicely!

I think you can definitely improve the chop area and the transition to the leader. The shoot that eventually became the leader emerged from the back of the tree resulting in a wound right at the front middle. Also, I left a pretty unnatural little shelf thing there and never got around to dealing with it.
 

cbroad

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I think you can definitely improve the chop area and the transition to the leader
The chop finally closed this season, hopefully it'll look more natural later. What would you do to it, sand it down a little? There is a crease there now.

Once the tree exfoliates its bark in the upper section, I'm hoping the shelf transition will be smooth, it looks like it will be. I've noticed it sheds in late summer, so we'll see later this season. What is the reason for leaving the shelf?
 

cbroad

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If the lower branches are shaded, they will decide to abandon them in favor of the upper branches.
That is probably what's going on, but I have noticed that some of the interior buds are a little later to push. I do start cutting the leaves in the apex in half in the summer just for that reason. Their apical dominance probably has something to do with dropping interior branches too.

Luckily, the branches I may have lost aren't contributing significantly to the design, so it's not a huge deal at the moment.
 

VAFisher

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The chop finally closed this season, hopefully it'll look more natural later. What would you do to it, sand it down a little? There is a crease there now.

Once the tree exfoliates its bark in the upper section, I'm hoping the shelf transition will be smooth, it looks like it will be. I've noticed it sheds in late summer, so we'll see later this season. What is the reason for leaving the shelf?

I tried to angle it and I think my thought process was that the new leader would roll over on top of it. Not sure exactly what I would do now. Maybe take some off the sides so it doesn't look bulged out.
 
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