There is nothing understated about the blooms of crepe myrtles that have been pollarded (cut back to a given point) year after year. The distinctive arthritic “knuckle” that results from this yearly abuse throws off long, vigorous shoots which end in outsize blooms in the long, hot weeks of summer. The weighty blooms drag the terminals back earthward, giving the entire composition something like a bottlerockets display.
If this is to your taste, now is the time to saw away. We have former Southern Living garden writer Linda Askey to thank for coining the term “crepe murder” to describe this technique. Pollarding crepe myrtle is employed religiously in the southeastern United States, but it is used throughout the gardening world to keep blooms at a close contact distance.