Monday, March 1, 2010
Two More Good Reasons not to Top your Crapemyrtles
Outside my office window I have a crapemyrtle that's just a little too close to the house. But I'm having a hard time letting go of it because of the multitude of birds it brings to my window. It gets even more exciting this time of year. I hope you can see the American Goldfinch eating the seeds from the old blooms in this photo (sorry for the reflections, the window, and the screen in the way!). I've also seen other birds eating the seeds - cardinals, chickadees, titmice.
Today I spotted several Blue Jays grabbing the little twigs that the seed heads are on and carrying them off. Nest building time?? I certainly hope so. They've given me a ray of hope that spring is on the way (despite the non-stop cold rain of today).
So please, please, please, save your crapemyrtles from the loppers and offer them to wildlife instead. (See here for one of my rants on this topic if you're interested.)
This post was written by Jean McWeeney for my blog Dig, Grow, Compost, Blog. Copyright 2009. Please contact me for permission to copy, reproduce, scrape, etc.
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Theres nothing like the sound of birds to bring a garden to life is there?
Your timing is perfect, Jean! No, I don't have any crapemyrtles, but I have been eyeing my flowering quince, wondering if I could prune it now. But then I noticed all the sparrows and juncos that like to roost in it every day and decided I should wait until the weather is warmer.ReplyDelete
That sounds like a great place for a crapemyrtle. I have one that I had to cut back some because it is growing up and over the fence. I love them though because of their long bloom time.ReplyDelete
It's just that much too cold here that crepe myrtles won't grow. They confused the bananas out of my when I saw them in August at MOBOT--they looked like lilacs from a distance, blooming at totally the wrong time, LOL!ReplyDelete
So far I have only seen this tree in photographs, and I think it looks fantastic in bloom.
If I were ever lucky enough to have one growing outside my window, like yourself, I wouldn't touch a hair on its head, birds or no birds.
You managed very well with your picture thru the layers.
If I could be lucky enough to grown crapemyrtles here in zone 4, I'd promise to NEVER top them.ReplyDelete
I often read of birds eating crepe myrtle seeds but I have had crepes for 43 years and so far the only thing that has eaten the seeds is leaf cutter ants. Wish you could teach my birds to eat those seeds.ReplyDelete
I'm with you on this!ReplyDelete
And I've seen birds taking off with tiny twigs from the CM recently, too. Exciting!
Jean, I don't have crape myrtles but the birds are a great reason to add a couple. I might yet do that.ReplyDelete
Glad there are little signs of spring in your garden! I feel like it's finally begun in earnest in my garden.
Jean it is so true that we can help out our birds and offer them a diverse diet by leaving seeds on our trees and shrubs. ;>)ReplyDelete
Birds look much better in a crepe than a crop-top! Nice photos. :)ReplyDelete
The seeds are mostly gone here, just empty pods. I cut off all I could reach on Monday, no stem larger than a pencil. Limbed up suckers and bottom limbs for benefit of he-who-mows. My Crape myrtles take judicious pruning with good response of bloom.ReplyDelete