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Understanding Bark Shedding in Crepe Myrtle Trees

Crepe myrtle trees are popular ornamental trees that are commonly grown in gardens and parks. They are known for their stunning flowers, vibrant colors, and attractive bark. However, one common problem that homeowners face with crepe myrtle trees is the shedding of bark. In this article, we will take a closer look at the reasons behind bark shedding in crepe myrtle trees and what you can do to prevent or minimize it.

What is Bark Shedding in Crepe Myrtle Trees?

Bark shedding in crepe myrtle trees refers to the natural process of the tree shedding its outermost layer of bark. This process is normal and occurs in most trees, including crepe myrtles. As the tree grows, the old bark splits and peels away, revealing the new and smooth layer of bark underneath. This new layer of bark helps protect the tree from pests, disease, and environmental stress.

What Causes Bark Shedding in Crepe Myrtle Trees?

There are several factors that can cause bark shedding in crepe myrtle trees. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Environmental stress: Crepe myrtle trees are highly susceptible to environmental stress, such as extreme temperatures, drought, and wind. When the tree experiences stress, it may shed its bark as a way to protect itself.

  • Pests and diseases: Certain pests and diseases, such as scale insects and cankers, can cause damage to the bark of the crepe myrtle tree. This damage can cause the bark to shed, exposing the tree to further damage and stress.

  • Pruning: Crepe myrtles are often pruned to maintain their shape and size. However, if the tree is pruned incorrectly, it can cause damage to the bark, leading to bark shedding.

How to Prevent or Minimize Bark Shedding in Crepe Myrtle Trees

While bark shedding is a natural process in crepe myrtle trees, there are several steps that you can take to prevent or minimize it:

  • Provide adequate water: Make sure to provide the tree with enough water to prevent it from experiencing stress.

  • Avoid pruning at the wrong time: Crepe myrtle trees should only be pruned during their dormant period, which is typically in late winter or early spring.

  • Monitor for pests and diseases: Regularly inspect the tree for signs of pests and diseases, and treat them promptly to prevent damage to the bark.

  • Provide shade: During the hot summer months, provide the tree with adequate shade to prevent sunburn, which can cause the bark to shed.


Bark shedding in crepe myrtle trees is a normal process, but it can be caused by environmental stress, pests and diseases, and incorrect pruning. To prevent or minimize bark shedding, it is important to provide the tree with adequate water, avoid pruning at the wrong time, monitor for pests and diseases, and provide shade during the hot summer months. With proper care, you can ensure that your crepe myrtle tree stays healthy and beautiful for years to come.

For an obligation free assessment of your Crepe myrtle tress, contact Life's Tree Doctor and our team of ISA Certified Arborists today!

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