CRAPE MYRTLE EVALUATIONS IN SOUTH MISSISSIPPI

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  • 1 Mississippi State University, Coastal Research and Extension Center, 1815 Popps Ferry Road, Biloxi, MS 39532

Lagerstroemia indica x fauriei `Tonto' and `Sioux' were planted in March, 1995. All other cultivars were planted in October, 1985. Plants were planted into a Ruston sandy loam on a 12 × 12 ft (3.7 × 3.7 m) spacing. Trees were pruned to develop multiple trunks. Trees are pruned annually in winter to remove any limbs smaller than ¼ in (0.6 cm) in diameter. Pruning cuts are made 6–8 in (15.2–20.3 cm) above prior cuts. Severe pruning is performed every five years. Trees were evaluated at 2-week intervals during the flowering season to determine total length of flowering and duration of good to superior flowering. Growth indices (height + width + perpendicular width)/3 were recorded after plants were dormant. Total days of flowering and floral display (0–5 with 0 representing no flowers and 5 representing superior flowering) were rated. `Muskogee' had the greatest growth index after the 2004 growing season. `Seminole' had the least. However, `Seminole' did have the greatest number of flowering days. `Biloxi' had the fewest flowering days. `Tonto' had the most good to superior flowering days while `Tuskegee' and `Muskogee' had the fewest.

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