Is the Bark Peeling on Your Crepe Myrtle Tree?

Crofton Village Garden Club members ask, “Is the bark on your Crepe Myrtle tree peeling?”

Photo from Flickr by

Photo from Flickr by yumievriwan

Bark is peeling from the ground to the tip of every branch on the crepe myrtle tree in my yard, so I did some investigating as to the likely cause.   Here’s what I found:

Horticulturist Neil Sperry says that crepe myrtles have exfoliating bark which peels off in long hunks, often exposing glossy honey-color trunks. According to him, peeling bark is completely harmless in all species of crepe myrtle. (also called “crape myrtle” or even “crapemyrtle”)

I have to say that it looks pretty creepy, even if it is “normal”.  But I’m glad to know peeling bark isn’t a symptom of disease or insects in this beautiful tree, because it provides a gorgeous canopy of shade for arranging outdoor seating whenever I entertain in the summer.

By the way, October is an ideal time to plant crepe myrtle and they are 50% off now at Homestead Gardens in Davidsonville (thru 9/30/09).

By Margaret Woda

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Whether you’re a beginning gardener, a master gardener, or somewhere in between, find out how to join the Crofton Village Garden Club by contacting club president Sunny Frank by email SunnyFrank@verizon.net.  Membership is limited.

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