Friday, January 20, 2012

Crape Murder...

Crape Murder is a saying here in the south referring to the butcher like pruning of Crape Myrtles.  It is very common, and occurs in all states, towns and neighborhoods.  Take a look around and you will probably a neighbor, a commercial property or even yourself have committed this offense.  First of all I don't have a problem with pruning ornamental including Crape Myrtles, I selectively prune my own.  I have two Red Dynamite, and an unknown lavender variety that was labeled Naztech White when I bought it.  I prune all three, but very differently.  The Unknown Lavender one Has an amazing natural shape, so I only prune "stray hairs", or odd branches that grow the wrong way.  I also cut off small branches that are growing into the tree. 

Crape Massacre

The Dynamites have a very irregular growth pattern.  Seems like half the tree (and it is the same on both) grows tall and straight up, with no shape what so ever, and the other half grows broader, and shorter.  In order to even it out and hopefully one day have two beautifully shaped trees I prune them a lot more severe than I would want.  Every year I feel like I have butchered the trees, and I guess in a way I have.  They are now 5 years old and FINALLY the short stocky side has gotten about 6ft tall. 
The problem is that last summer the "tall" side shot up over 15 ft.  As you can imagine those were some very funny looking trees.  Both of the Dynamites have been pruned back to an "even" shape. 
Crape murder however was taken to a whole new level by a neighbor down the street.
Last year I noticed there was two stick in their yard, bluntly cut.  I didn't think much off it at first, assuming they were getting rid of it.  In summer however the stick turned into a Crape Myrtle.  Hanging on for dear life.  Again, I thought, maybe they hadn't realized the CM was alive when they had chopped it, or they had thought it was a weed....
Then this fall, I walked past the house and to my horror saw they had chopped it again.  I don't think Crape Murder is a strong enough phrase for this.  It's More like a Crape Massacre...

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