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The dynamite crepe myrtle tree originates from the Asian countries of Japan, China, and Korea. This tree typically has small, ovular, deep green leaves that are between 1.5 and 3 inches (3.8 to 7.6 centimeters) in length. The tree itself reaches heights of 18 to 25 feet (6 to 8 meters). It is known for its bunches of brilliant red blooms, which make the dynamite crepe myrtle a popular garden ornamental. These blooms generally begin to appear in late spring or early summer, and the tree usually blooms consistently for about four months. Horticulturalists have created several varieties of the dynamite crepe myrtle, so that trees producing blooms in various shades of pink, bright red, mauve, and even white are available to gardeners.
These ornamental garden trees are fairly fast growing, usually putting on about 3 feet (0.9 meters) of height each year. Some gardeners prefer to keep the dynamite crepe myrtle pruned down to shrubbery size, at a height of about 10 to 12 feet (3 to 4 meters). Pruning these trees during the cold months of the year is said to help them bloom more prolifically during the warmer months, though some gardeners believe that the trees will generally produce plenty of attractive flowers, and take on a more pleasant shape, without the pruning. Small varieties of the dynamite crepe myrtle are available from some nurseries.
Diseases most likely to affect this tree include powdery mildew, a fungal disease of plants. Providing the tree with plenty of sunlight and fresh air can help to prevent the onset of powdery mildew disease. These trees will often produce shoots known as suckers from the base of their trunks or their roots, which can lead to fewer blooms and less growth of the adult tree. Mulching around the trunk can help to prevent the appearance of suckers.
These trees are relatively hardy in the face of cold temperatures. They can usually thrive in climates where the temperature goes as low as 0° Fahrenheit (-17.7° Celsius). They normally prefer mildly to heavily acidic soil pH, and will usually grow best when provided with regular, but not excessive, hydration. The dynamite crepe myrtle is typically a lover of direct, strong sunlight. Fully-grown trees can reach a spread of up to 10 feet (3 meters).
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