A: Your best option is to do several thinning cuts. That means taking out an entire branch all the way to the base rather than simply shortening it. If you only shorten branches, they will vigorously re-sprout in spring, and the tree will resume growing in ways you don’t want. By removing limbs that go excessively upward and outward, the crape myrtle will be reduced in size without excessive sprouting.
Q: I have a grape vine that I planted some years ago. The vine grows nicely but there are few grapes. Not sure of variety. Eddie Dillard, email
A: It sounds like a pollination problem. In other words, there is a lack of sex amongst the vines. Some muscadine varieties have perfect flowers, which contain both male and female organs. These varieties do not require another variety nearby to achieve pollination. However, some varieties have flowers with only female organs. These varieties require a perfect-flowered variety nearby to contribute pollen. My bet is that you have a female-flowered variety. The lack of pollen would explain why the little grapes never develop to maturity. The cure? Plant a perfect-flowered grape nearby. ‘Cowart’, ‘Triumph’, ‘Nesbitt’ and ‘Carlos’ are all perfect-flowered.
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