Crepe Murder 2014 — Taking Care of Business

March 11, 2014 | By | Comments (2)
Crepe Murder 2014

Photo: Tim Holcomb

When you pull off of the interstate at this Alabama rest stop, you’re not the only one taking care of business. So are your highly trained state employees who don’t let common sense or measurable brain activity stand in the way of reducing crepe myrtles to stumps the size of rabbits.

You can understand why. Who wants to look at graceful trees adorned with colorful flowers when they should be admiring flat beds of ground cover? Ground cover enthusiasts from all over Alabama pay their taxes so that when nature calls during a long trip to the beach, they’re never more than 10 minutes away from a stunning display of Asian star jasmine.

For relieving himself of this excellent photo of highway muggery, Tim Holcomb wins a lavender ‘Early Bird’ dwarf crepe myrtle that never needs pruning from our Southern Living Plant Collection.

And if you’re wondering how to properly prune crepe myrtle, check out Grumpy’s excellent guide, Crepe Myrtle pruning Step-By-Step.

See you back here with another horrifying winner this Thursday!


  1. Steve Bender

    I’d cut them off at the ground and let them grow back. As they do, select 4-5 well-spaced shoots that are growing up and out. Save them and remove any others. They will become the new trunks. As the grow, remove all side branches up to a height of around 4 feet. You’ll be surprised how fat they’ll grow back. You’ll probably even get flowers this year.

    March 13, 2014 at 9:27 am
  2. Tiffan in Houston

    So, what’s a new homeowner to do with fence-post crapes? Should I take them down to the ground this spring and start over? Let them stay leggy from the fall and go from there, with big lumps in the middle of the trunk(s)?

    March 12, 2014 at 3:40 pm

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