Crape Myrtles Are Shedding Bark

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Crape myrtle shedding bark. Photo: SD Frank

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Every year around this time I get calls and emails from homeowners and landscapers who notice bark peeling off crape myrtles and accumulating around trees. This causes great concern because for most tree species shedding bark is very bad. For crape myrtles however, it is completely normal and seems to be in full force right now. I noticed it yesterday when I walked past a Japanese holly hedge that was strewn with strips of crape myrtle bark. Some crape myrtle varieties seem to shed more bark and in larger pieces than others. The multi-colored patterned bark is one of the attractive features of these trees and I am sure this shedding contributes to those patterns. In any case, just rake it up and figure it is probably a sign of active growth and a healthy tree.

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Photo of Steven Frank, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionDr. Steven FrankProfessor and Extension Specialist (919) 515-8880 steven_frank@ncsu.eduEntomology & Plant Pathology - NC State University
Updated on Jan 11, 2016
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