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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2003 4:37 pm 

Joined: Sun May 04, 2003 10:18 am
Posts: 5
Location: Arlington, TX
Can I plant a crepe myrtle in a garden about 8 inches away from my home?

It would be the PERFECT placement as far as cutting some sunlight from hitting my house and I got a great deal on this young plant.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2003 7:44 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2003 8:18 am
Posts: 10
Location: Mesquite, TX
It really depends on the variety. Dwarf species may not cause any problems at all due to their restricted height. I'm not an expert, but I can tell you from personal experience that it is better to plant non-dwarf varieties as far away from your house as you can. You may encounter problems if you have a single-story house and you have planted it too close to the foundation. Whenever the wind blows the branches will end up scraping away your roofing shingles, the paint on your siding and under the eaves, and can cause damage to window screens and scratch the window glazing. This can cause serious problems for your house as water and insects can enter these areas. Planting it too close will require excessive pruning and reshaping to keep it from damaging your house. The branches are the only problem I have ever had when a crepe myrtle was too close to the foundation. I have not had any problems with the roots causing damage to the foundation.

Find out what the height and width will be once the tree has matured. If the height exceeds the height of the lowest point on your roof, and if the canopy width of a mature non-dwarf crepe myrtle is 15 feet across, then I would plant it no closer than 7.5 to 8 feet away from any eave on my house. I would do the same even if you have a two-story house, because environmental conditions, soil quality, watering and fertilizing practices can vary from person to person and you might be able to grow a mature non-dwarf variety that will be taller than the height indicated on the label.

I recently built a new single-story house in Mesquite, TX. Two crepe myrtles were in the landscape package provided by the builder. Builders love to plant their shrubs and trees close to the foundation without considering what the mature height and width will be. The first thing I did after I closed was move the crepe myrtles away from the house. This will reduce the amount of pruning maintenance on the plant and repairs on my house.

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2003 2:22 pm 

Joined: Sat May 31, 2003 4:32 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Ellis County (Ovilla/Red Oak)
I planted crepe myrtles in front of the windows on the west side of the house about 10 years ago.
Now, I get to climb up on the roof about 3 times a year to trim branches away from the shingles!
Luckily I planted them outside the roofline, so I don't have to lop off their heads, which would cause me much pain.
The other thing is, these crepes are not shrublike at all: they are tree-sized, & they no longer shade the bottom part of the windows!
If I had known then what I know now, I would put the crepes a little further out, to shade an area IN FRONT of the house, so I would have a sitting area outdoors. This placement would shade the windows too, as the sun moved westward.
I would estimate 10 feet or so in front of the windows.

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