National Association of Landscape Professionals Bluff City Landscape Memphis, TN

Why you should prune or have your Crape Myrtles pruned.

First things first

You need to decide what look you would like for your crape myrtle tree

to have...

Single Trunk
Multi Stem
Natural Look

Now the good news is that Crape Myrtles are one darn tough plant. So

the bottom line is if you make a mistake most likely your tree will

recover in a few seasons.

Most people don't know this

The reason you should prune your Crape Myrtles is because of one reason… blooms.

Only the new growth each year is what produces those lovely blooms that you admire each spring and summer.

So with that being said, it pays to prune your Crape Myrtles in the winter months as soon as November at as late at March when they are dormant.

The good news is most Crape Myrtles can be pruned with hand held shears or long handles loppers. If yours are way out of control, then a chainsaw might be necessary in the most extreme cases.

So now on to the good stuff.

When you prune your Crape Myrtle the proper way it will will maximize blooms, promote new growth and give your plant a great shape.

That said.. Your pruning is done in winter when the Crape Myrtle is dormant, between the months of December and February.

The good news is that super aggressive pruning that you might have seen around town is not actually needed to get a beautiful, healthy plant. 

But that's just part of the story.

You need to know about “Crape Murder"

"Crape Murder" is what the pros say describe the butchering of Crape Myrtles.

What's more… When Crape Murder is committed it can literally appear that half, or more, of the plant has been removed.

On the one hand... This technique is used by some no professional landscapers and homeowners because it's quick, fairly easy, the plant almost always recovers.. Fair enough , BUT This technique is NOT recommended as it may damage you plant. OK… that's fine you say… but meanwhile you might be wondering "What are Suckers?"

Simply put .. the "Suckers" are the new growth that comes from the base of the trunk. 

Most professional lawn care services and homeowners who know what

they are doing will prune these off.

Now with that being said , if you want your Crape Myrtle to have a more

"natural" look or would maybe would even prefer for it to grow multiple

trunks, then the good news is you can leave some of the suckers to grow

up. The best part? Blooms will appear on new growth suckers.

Now…these are your Crape Myrtle’s… So it's up to you how you would like

for them to look. But it helps to identify which pruning style meets your

ideal look, so keep reading to find out more about the three main pruning styles.

The Single Trunk

                                                                         In my opinion , the single trunk Crape Myrtle is one of the more beautiful shapes the tree can                                                                             take on with proper pruning, however, will require the most investment in pruning each year.

                                                                         Why is the case? First you'll need to remove any extra stems protruding from the ground, as                                                                               well as any suckers. 

                                                                         Next you what all of the tree’s branching to happen at the top quarter of your tree. That said,                                                                               you’ll need to pick a dominant single trunk for the tree, and prune away another others at the                                                                             base.

                                                                         If you choose the single trunk method its best to start while the Crape Myrtle tree is younger as more established trees most likely can not be retroactively pruned to this style and shape.


The multi trunk look for Crape Myrtles is probably the most common professional trimming approach. It is relied upon by lawn care services all over the country to establish beautiful Crape Myrtle bushes full of blooms each spring and summer for their clients.

So to make a point… to achieve the multi stem look, allow your Crape Myrtle to branch along the length of the stem and follow these steps

  1. Try to prune later in winter, February is ideal.
  2. Cut off suckers from the bottom, rubbing and cross growing branches and branches growing inward.
  3. Gradually cut off all side branches from the main base as the tree gets taller.
  4. Never leave lone or clustered stubs.
  5. Be sure to remove unwanted branches before they get too thick (thickness of a pencil).

Finally… The Natural Look

So you might not know this but allowing your Crape Myrtle to grow into its natural shape has been the trend in recent years. So the good news is you can tell that to your neighbors and even better this approach requires little to no pruning.

It's easy.. Just allow your plant to branch and spread naturally. Your Crape Myrtle will still bloom and be beautiful so long as it's watered and fertilized properly

The bottom line is….

Crape Myrtles are one of the most resilient and prune-able plants we have ever seen. So its really just a matter of your preference how much time and effort you are willing to invest into their pruning and care. There's really no "wrong" way to do it, so experiment and have fun!

Written by Gene Caballero on December 10, 2017

Why Hire a Company for Leaf Removal?

Fall lawn care can turn into a real chore.

Raking leaves is a time-consuming task and can leave many with sore backs and blisters on their hands. Many people choose to sweat it out and do their own leaf removal, or pay the kid down the street a few bucks, but in many cases – especially for the elderly, or those with health problems or large lawns – they’re better off calling in the professionals.

Lawn care companies are efficient

Many lawn care companies offer leaf removal services. A common method for cleanup includes mobile vacuuming, in which the lawn care professional runs a powerful machine that removes even the smallest leaf particles from the lawn.

Most lawn care companies typically blow the leaves into piles or to the curb, with a high-powered back pack blowers then vacuum them up, or rakes them onto a tarp and moved to be hauled away on a trailer. Most of the leaves are later recycled for mulch or put into a compost either at the company’s location or at a company that specializes in recycling and composting yard waste.

Another option is to have a lawn care company turn the leaves into fine mulch that can remain on the lawn and provide compost.

Excess leaves can kill grass

Experts say it's important not to let leaves collect on the ground for too long.

Excess leaves on the lawn blocks sunlight and reduces water evaporation, which can cause fungus, mold and disease, These things alone can wipe out a lawn in a year or two, even if it's cleaned up in the spring. Just like anything in life, a healthy lawn can take a hit and bounce back, but a stressed lawn can be sent over the edge with leaves being allowed to sit for a period of time. Letting leaves sit can leave you reseeding in the spring. Wet, decomposing leaves can also be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. There are also some plant diseases which get cycled back into the plant as the leaves decompose into the soil at the base of the plant,

The majority of customers want to do two cleanups, one before Thanksgiving and one before Christmas, The people who want a perfect lawn do it at least bi-weekly through the fall and winter season.

The biggest benefit to hiring a company is not having to do it yourself, The way your lawn is left in the fall, is how it will look all winter long. Winter can be depressing enough without leaving a piles of leaves laying around. Aside from it looking bad during the winter months, there are a couple of issues that will come the following spring: dead or damaged grass and higher spring cleanup costs.

Credits: Tom Moor who wrote for Angie's List Magazine and the Solution Center. The Indiana University graduate also penned a weekly automotive column.


Welcome to Bluff City Landscape LLC:

​We have merged two companies this year, Perfect Lawn Services and Green Truck Lawn & Landscape to produce a stronger, more efficient, and productive company for our customers. We are are looking to serving you this season.

Spring is coming! Old man winter will soon disappear. Now is the time to prepare your lawn & landscaping so you will be able to enjoy them for the length of the summer. 

February, March, and April are the months to focus on clean up/repair, weeding, trimming & pruning, planting, mulching and feeding. Our company has consistently provided these services to our customers for over sixteen years now.

We do all types of property clean up and repair. From residential to commercial, we have the capability to handle all jobs. If you have yard waste or general maintenance we can take care of it. Perhaps you need a fence repaired, dead spots in your lawn repaired, or landscaping that needs sprucing up, from small to large, we will assess the need, and make recommendations to remedy the problem. 

Weeding is very important for healthy growth of flowers, grass, and trees. Taking care of weeds will allow proper feeding and watering to plants and trees. Also, creating a better appearance overall. Twenty-five square feet of grass, not weeds, converts enough carbon dioxide into oxygen for one person a day.

Specific pruning techniques will promote flowering and fruiting stems to form. Trimming and pruning helps to create space, lifts the tree or shrub, and shapes. Late Winter & Early Spring is the perfect time to trim back shrubs & ornamental grass such as monkey grass. While the leaves are still off most deciduous trees and shrubs, spring is the time to find wood damaged from the harshness of winter, and easier to identify areas with crossing growths and disease. 

Many rewards come throughout the summer from planting. Planting bulbs, trees, annuals, perennials, and grass in the spring ensures you will have color and beauty spring through fall. After the winter months feeding is crucial. Winter takes out nutrients that are necessary for healthy growth of plants, trees, and lawns. Feeding helps to put important nutrients, such as nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus back into lacking lawns & plants.

Give us a call at 901.217.LAWN or contact us via email click here and we will be happy to help you with your needs.

Some great services for spring also include: Sod Installation, Aeration/Aerating, Gutter Cleaning, Pressure Washing to Clean Off Winters Grim & Irrigation Start Up.

Here at Bluff City Landscape we believe in quality service from the ground up. With our experience, know-how and highly trained staff, we are keeping lawn & landscapes looking their Best.

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