Crepe Murder Most Foul — Winner #10!

March 20, 2012 | By | Comments (15)

Today marks the end of Grumpy’s 2nd Annual Crepe Murder Contest. To all who entered and to all who wrote such appropriately disparaging things about our winners, Grumpy would like to say thanks from the bottom of his vast reservoir of vitriol and sarcasm. Well done!

Looking back at each of the previous 9 horrors, I was convinced ugliness had reached a pinnacle. There was simply no way any crepe murder could surpass the hitching post murder (Winner #7), the crepe murder gone postal (Winner #5), the porcupine murder (Winner #6), or the gnawed femur murder (Winner #9). But then Jennifer Hill of Sugar Land, Texas discovered the freak pictured below. Grumpy stands in awe.

What impresses me most about this aberration is the way it combines so many of the terrible pruning practices we’ve seen in previous winners.

1. Main trunks are sawed off at the knees, leaving ugly stumps.

2. The ugly stumps are allowed to grow a foot taller and then cut off exactly the same way to make double-decker stumps.

3. Several more years of mentally impaired pruning produces triple-decker stumps.

4. All new growth is cut back to the same point on these stumps year after year, creating tumor-like growths that look like the warts on a witch’s nose.

5. Finally, a few new branches are set free on the top, no doubt with the goal of making quadruple-decker stumps.

Please stop. Please stop now. Don’t make me have to send a few of my boys over.

Can This Crepe Murder Be Saved?

Only one way. Cut it off at the ground and start over.

Thanks for the Horrible Memories!

This year of crepe murder has truly been one for the ages. We’ve seen once again how utterly incompetent gardeners can be when they take leave of their senses and take hold of a saw. Like every previous winner, Jennifer 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.

Don’t be too upset if your entry didn’t win this year. Thanks to your neighbors’ historic and widespread lack of taste, I know there will be even more grotesque murders to photograph next year. In the meantime, bask in the comforting knowledge that you know ugly when you see it. You are among the chosen few.


  1. 10 Plants You Should Never Prune in Fall – The Daily South | Your Hub for Southern Culture

    […] Extreme pruning of crepe myrtle called “crepe murder” will not and cannot be tolerated by Grumpy. To see how to correctly prune this iconic plant, read […]

    November 11, 2012 at 7:00 am
  2. Steve Bender

    Be sure to enter! Shaming crepe murderers is my holy quest.

    October 8, 2012 at 10:36 am
  3. Dixie Rose

    I can’t wait to send in my terrible photo’s from here in Talladega, Al around the court house. They are pretty gruesome to look at. They start the slaughter in February, horrible.

    October 5, 2012 at 3:45 pm
  4. Grumpy Gardener (His Magnificence)

    You’re right. There is always next year. Take a terrible photo of them and send it in for the Third Annual Crepe Murder Contest.

    May 22, 2012 at 1:18 pm
  5. OldCrabbyBat

    Oh no! I found your blog too late to send in a candidate! Maybe next year…I’m sure the bozos who butchered the beautiful trees at my office complex will do the same next year. These guys took chainsaws to a row of gorgeous watermelon red 20 ft trees with 3-4 inch trunks and reduced these beauties to 5 ft high fence posts, which did NOT recover. They just sprouted numerous suckers around the bottom to surround the bare trunks. Absolutely horrid! I almost cried..

    May 20, 2012 at 5:26 pm
  6. Grumpy Gardener (His Benevolence)

    Thanks for entering!

    April 16, 2012 at 10:24 am
  7. Jenny

    My “Major Award” arrived today and she’s beautiful! Thanks GG for a sickly fun, and dementedly educational contest!

    April 10, 2012 at 4:54 pm
  8. Jeff

    I have started looking for examples for next year. A good set of candidates reside in Clanton, Alabama. But some I have seen are so ugly, it is hard to tell if they are even crepe myrtles!

    March 30, 2012 at 7:36 pm
  9. Grumpy Gardener (His Magnificence)

    Actually, I am.

    March 29, 2012 at 1:31 pm
  10. Karen

    Why don’t some “choir members” discretely drop a copy of some of these Top Tens in someone’s mailbox in the dead of night? Unless you are looking forward to next year’s Top Ten slaughters…

    March 22, 2012 at 7:12 pm
  11. Grumpy Gardener (His Magnificence)

    Sick and demented is what this blog is all about!

    March 21, 2012 at 12:38 pm
  12. Linda

    Well, at least they didn’t cut the tree into a flat top. Somebody needs a new hobby. Great job Grumpy. I worry, however, that you are preaching to the choir and the murderers are not online!

    March 20, 2012 at 8:50 pm
  13. January

    Yes Grumpy. Let’s do this again next year. I also enjoyed the whole thing in a sick and demented sort of way. Seconds on that.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:11 pm
  14. Kirsten

    The most fun I’ve had on the internet in a long time!

    March 20, 2012 at 12:56 pm
  15. Tom Mann

    Congratulations to all the winners for bringing to light all the losers! Although I was not among the elite 10 this year, I now see how high (or is that low?) the standard has been set for next years’ contest. It’s been fun (in a sick, demented sort of way) to follow along.

    March 20, 2012 at 11:09 am

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