Crape Myrtle Mame Progression

VAFisher

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I originally collected this is a volunteer seedling growing in the gravel driveway of my wife's old house in 2013 or 2014. The first pic I have is this one from 2015. I was trying to make a representation of the standard crape form that you see in almost everyone's yard in the South.

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My inspiration.

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In 2017 I was growing tired of the tree and wasn't really liking it. The mame contest came about and I decided to chop this one down and regrow it as a mame. I got ruthless with the roots to get it into that pot but the tree didn't mind at all.

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Here is the tree late in 2017 in an even smaller pot that fit the requirements of the contest. I was allowing the roots to escape out of the small pot and grow into the slightly larger one.

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That pot was just too small, so I moved it into this deeper one which still fell within the contest rules in 2018.

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In 2021 I repotted the tree in the summer (I find that works just fine for me for crape myrtles) into a larger pot to give myself some more margin for error. Interestingly, both pre and post repot pics are with beer bottles for scale (I might have a problem)


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This year, I decided to repot in the spring into this Chuck Iker round that was free. I didn't really do any root work since it was in the smaller pot most of last year.

I really like this little tree now and am so glad that I chopped it back for the mame contest. It turned out to be a much better tree. To me it looks like an oak tree in a field.

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Carol 83

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Seeing your crapes started my obsession with them, plus flowers. I now have 4. My latest acquisition is a little pokemoke, thanks for the inspiration.
 

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Seeing your crapes started my obsession with them, plus flowers. I now have 4. My latest acquisition is a little pokemoke, thanks for the inspiration.
Thanks!
 

VAFisher

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What time of year did you do your chop? This is a fantastic little crepe myrtle!
Thanks! I chopped it and root pruned it during the growing season. I think it was May if I recall correctly.
 

19Mateo83

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Very nice! I have a black diamond one with a fun trunk I need to chop down lower.
 

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VAFisher

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Very nice! I have a black diamond one with a fun trunk I need to chop down lower.
Depending on your final goal for the tree, I wouldn't worry about a chop on that plant right now. I would just let it grow to thicken up the trunk first before a chop.
 

penumbra

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You have done a really impressive job here.
It was a hard winter on my CM. Lots of dieback and some deceased. Even the one in the cold frame just leafed out in the past 2 weeks. They struggle around here in pots. In your part of the state they are magnificent.
 

VAFisher

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You have done a really impressive job here.
It was a hard winter on my CM. Lots of dieback and some deceased. Even the one in the cold frame just leafed out in the past 2 weeks. They struggle around here in pots. In your part of the state they are magnificent.
Thanks! Winters can be tough on them around here too. I've had ones in the ground die back to almost ground level before. And our inevitable late freezes can cause them some trouble after they start growing as well. I winter my bonsai crapes on a shelf in my garage so they are mostly unaffected by the temps. The trick with these really small ones is making sure they don't dry out over the winter.
 

Katie0317

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That's a beautiful tree!

You're right, they're everywhere in the south and almost impossible to kill. They can be chopped, repotted etc...as early as April here. If you ever get to France they manage theirs very differently and beautifully. They're all pruned identically and planted for miles along long winding roads and look beautiful bare or flowering. Here they're pruned in a variety of ways and unless they're fertilized they don't leaf out or flower until very late or barely at all.
 
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Great work! I’m on my second year of growing out bare root seedlings from Matt Ouwinga’s nursery, they grow fast! This thread gives me hope for my own.
 
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