“On a recent trip to Orlando, Florida, we saw an example of the stupidity of mankind,” writes Dawn Gueltzow of Tallahasssee.
What was it? Had someone built another condo there? Did a highway sign read, “Welcome to Orlando, Home of Tony Orlando”? Or had someone at Walt Disney World waved a juicy turkey leg too close to to the nose of a ravenous Rush Limbaugh?
Oh no. It was something worse, much worse. It was another monumental case of crepe murder.
Like giant hands, the mangled trunks of this crepe myrtle beg for divine intervention.
“This crepe murder, of what should have been a mature and beautiful tree, really made me sad,” says Dawn. I think I can safely speak for all of Grumpiana when I say anyone who makes Dawn sad is a real jerk.
A dumb jerk too. I mean, what was the point? From the size of the saw-off trunks, we can see this was once a majestic plant. If you don’t like it, why torture it slowly and cut it down to a three-foot stump? Why not cut it off at the ground and be done with it? We don’t cut off oaks, maples, elms, pines, gums, and palms at waist-height, do we? Why just crepe myrtle? This poor thing will now sprout about a billion shoots the thickness of a human hair and never return to its former glory. All because a member of the Walking Brain-Dead was handed a saw.
What’s Crepe Murder?
For the uninitiated, crepe murder refers to the odious practice of using chainsaws and loppers to reduce beautiful crepe myrtles to hideous stumps every spring. Not only does this ruin their sculptural form, but it also prevents them from developing that wonderfully mottled, smooth, flaky bark so welcome in the winter landscape. Moreover, the long, whiplike branches that grow from the stumps are too weak to hold up the flowers.
Like every winner, Dawn will receive a lavender ‘Early Bird’ crepe myrtle from our Southern Living Plant Collection. This crepe myrtle grows only 8 feet tall and never needs pruning. Come back tomorrow to see our next winner. I promise it’ll be even uglier.