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Thursday, February 05, 2009

The Buena Vista Garden, by Yarddawg

BEWARE: It's Yardmurder Season

Yes it’s here again. ‘Tis the season for Crape Murder and no Fa La La La La. If you’re not familiar with Crape Murder just take a look around in your neighborhoods and shopping centers and even on city streets or just about anywhere Crape Myrtles are found. Think about it. The weather recently has been wretched. We’ve had bitter cold, wet, windy or just generally unpleasant. Suddenly we have a nice day or two and BAM into the garden shed we go to grab those pruning shears and start whacking away at something. This is, in itself, a problem. It becomes a bigger problem when a Crape Myrtle is in the line of fire. Why of all trees out there do we choose this one to do this to? It befuddles me.

All over town, homeowners, “professional” landscapers, both novice and real “arborists”, and otherwise plain, sensible folk are united in performing the annual ritual of butchering the most beautiful of the summer flowering trees. The main explanation given for this Crape Jihad I’ve heard is, “everybody else is doing it”. Therefore it must be the right thing to do. Correct? Right? WRONG. Entirely wrong on many levels. In other words the herd instinct seems to trump reality and common sense. Here’s a local example:

This photographic evidence is a mere five minute stroll from home and is an example of mass crape murder. Nine in a row were maimed decapitated. WHAT DID THEY DO TO DESERVE THIS FATE?

Look ya’ll if you own a Crape Myrtle it’s your tree. Pruning them in this fashion is very easy and takes almost no time at all. But I’ve got an easier solution that requires even less time and less effort. Here’s my little secret: Don’t prune Crape Myrtle at all, EVER, for any reason. How simple can that be? Just leave them alone and your reward will be healthy and beautiful blooming specimens that provide months of enjoyment.

A Google search of “crape murder” yielded 155,000 results. I include results by two well known garden authorities on Crape Murder, North Carolina’s own Tony Avent and Greg Grant from Texas.

Thanks for reading this. I feel much better now.
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