Crepe myrtles are (sort of) like snakes . . .
Both shed their outer coverings.
Of course, a BIG difference is that crepe myrtles are not dangerous, unlike some snakes.
Shedding its outer bark is a normal part of crepe myrtle aging. It occurs when the tree has reached full maturity, which can be only a few years after planting. When the bark is done shedding, the wood will resemble a paint-by-number (remember those?) artwork.
Bark shedding (exfoliating) is not unusual among some tree species. Sycamores, various types of eucalyptus, shag-bark hickories of the South, white oaks and even some evergreen magnolias are known for their handsome, peeling bark.
BUT, few of these trees shed bark more spectacularly than crepe myrtles and sycamores. Each layer of exfoliating bark reveals another layer of contrasting color bark.
Crepe myrtles are deciduous trees; most of the ones here on the VA eastern shore flower in summer from whites to dark pink flowers. When the flowers are gone and fall has arrived, the leaves turn bright yellow and deep red.
In late autumn, this is HOW the trees at the start of this post will look — right in tune with the season.