Who are these gang members?
Who are the victims?
|A victim of "crape murder"|
Topping off the top of the branches of the crape myrtle tree is known as "crape murder", and it's a sad sight to see. Please don't murder your crape myrtles! Let them grow naturally.
What do you do should you have had this happen to your crape myrtles in the past? Well, pick out a leader from the new growth coming from each cut branch (it's not hard - just pick one). Prune off the rest, but keep the new leader, and hopefully, eventually, very little will show of the previous murder attempt of your crape myrtle.
Crape murder. We need to put a stop to this ugly tradition.
It saddens me to see the mutilated trees. Their natural vase shaped form is so beautiful!ReplyDelete
I agree. Mine are not mutilated like this, and I can't imagine them being cut like this. They are beautiful naturally.Delete
I've never understood why topping any tree/shrub like this is considered a good idea. Poor little crapes. I'm sorry you had to witness that.ReplyDelete
I've always seen the aftermath, but not the actually cutting. I honestly felt like jumping out of the car and saying something, but realized they wouldn't have listened to me anyway. :(Delete
It's a shame really as most landscape companies employ non gardeners/horticulturists who don't know what they're doing. What a sad sight!ReplyDelete
And these employees are taught that is what's right! Then people see it and think it's right, too. A terrible cycle.Delete
My heart always drops when I see this horrible deed done to Crape Myrtles. It seems you are more likely to see them “MURDERED” than NOT. I have two Crape Myrtles in my garden and I’m proud to say they are lovely. The bark on the mature trees can be really beautiful. They are so tall that now they bring welcomed shade in the summer months. FUN POST! I enjoyed reading it!ReplyDelete
Yes, I rarely see these beautiful trees growing naturally. Which is a shame. The ones that are grown naturally are so beautifully shaped, it's hard to imagine how this got started.Delete
Never heard of this crape murder. Thanks for posting. We don't have any crape myrtles, but why do the landscape companies do such things?ReplyDelete
From the cut several branches grow out, so supposedly, the tree blooms more when they are cut like this. However, I don't think they really bloom more, and it does shorten the life of the tree. Plus, it just looks ugly! I also think that sometimes it's done to keep the tree to a certain height. But there are many different varieties in a range of heights, so that should be no excuse.Delete
It's terrible. Most people seem to think that crape murder is necessary yearly maintenance. (I think these are the same people that think shrubs should be pruned into balls.) I pointed one out to a friend on a walk and he said, oh, yeah, we need to have ours done. Not the reaction I was expecting!ReplyDelete
I hope you tried to talk your friend out of it! I think it's such a widespread practice, people really do think it's necessary!Delete
Oh my! I wonder if this is a regional thing? Our last house, where it was warm and sunny enough to grow Crape Myrtles, I never saw beheading like this with such wild abandon. They were a very common tree planted in that area too, as they tolerated the hot summer weather so well.ReplyDelete
I can't stand to see such brutal vandalism of plants. I do see it done to trees here, from apple trees, to sycamores. I just don't see the point, or understand the logic behind it (beyond laziness). Usually when you cut a plant like this, you just make it shrub out even more. I wish landscapers would employ the practice of 'selective thinning' instead. Not everything can be cut with power hedge trimmers. Sheesh. Poor trees.
I don't know how widespread this practice is. That would be an interesting thing to find out. Maybe as people move around, they will learn not to do this. It would help if the landscaping companies would stop the practice.Delete
I love my crapes, and get paranoid for even trimming stray branches that are in the way. I love the way the tree grows, filling in with leaves, as mine is starting to do now, then all those glorious blooms and the way the branches hang down. I've not personally seen crapes murdered like this in our area, but have seen pictures on line and it hurts to see such a butcher job.ReplyDelete
So, it's not a widespread practice in Florida. That's good to know. Maybe Texas will figure it out eventually! I love my crape myrtles, too. They are wonderful trees, and don't deserve this type of treatment.Delete
You'll be happy to know mine grows free as a bird, and blooms quite nicely too (even though whomever planted it did so in the shade which makes no sense). There are lo.ts of victims here though too, and its this time of year where its the most eye scorching. For some reason this week I've been noticing all the power company hack jobs to the Live Oaks as well.ReplyDelete
You are so right - at this time of year, when the trees have no leaves to hide (well, these have no branches either!), it is very obvious and such a sad sight. At least the power companies are not paid to do the 'landscaping'!Delete
Someone in our neighborhood has done this to a willow tree... we can't figure it out, and now we're afraid to get to know them. Where did this idea start?ReplyDelete
Maybe you should get to know them so they can get some good advice! I don't know where the idea started. It is puzzling, isn't it?Delete
This happens all too often not only to crepes but to large trees. It is such a shame. My how it changes the whole tree-and even will kill it. That is a very sad crepe you show.ReplyDelete
This is one of the worst I've seen, although in looking around, not the only one this bad. You're right - it's very sad and such a shame.Delete
Yikes! That is too bad. We have some pretty weird trimming techniques here, too. But since we don't have Crape Myrtles, I haven't seen this view. Frustrating, huh?ReplyDelete
If they would let it grow naturally, it could have been such a pretty planting. But now, it just looks disgraceful.Delete
Hi Holley, that photo is really painful to watch, ouch!!! I really don't get it, why do people do this? And why do they even get paid for doing that?ReplyDelete
I think it's just something people see done, so they think it's the right thing to do. But why landscape companies continue to enforce the idea that this needs to be done is beyond me. Maybe it's just something they can get paid for in an otherwise slow month!Delete
I don't like doing it to plants too, we have the same habit here for hibiscus. They are growing so profusely and to be small again they do that. However, intensive pruning is done to some plants as a cultural management technique, e.g. Mussaenda. They are pruned here at certain months to induce flowering. Also, when they are not cut fully like the 'murder' style, they not only produce flowers as profusely but they also easily die.ReplyDelete
I have never seen it done to a hibiscus. But in your country, the hibiscus can grow so tall, maybe that's one reason it got started. I wonder how long these crape myrtles can live. They look tortured, and I would think disease would hit them first.Delete
Yep, it's that time here in Austin too unfortunately.ReplyDelete
I wonder besides Texas which other states have this sad tradition.Delete
It makes no sense..since we don't usually grow them here I am perplexed as to why you would do this...it is awful...of course they do this to bushes that are planted too close to sidewalks too.ReplyDelete
Yes, I can almost understand doing this if it was to keep the tree to a certain height or to squeeze it in next to a building, but this is done to trees that are standing out in the open. Very perplexing indeed!Delete
That was pretty seriously pruned. I always wonder why plant something that is too large for the area and has to be pruned back so much.ReplyDelete
Cher Sunray Gardens
These aren't pruned to fit the space. They are just pruned because they're this certain type of tree. It's just misinformation. More and more people are realizing it's not the correct thing to do, but for some reason the landscapers still continue this practice!Delete
I have saw pictures before of Crape Myrtle trees trimmed like that and thought it was pitiful.Maybe they think that is the way to do it after being advised or seeing others trim them so close.ReplyDelete
I think people do think that's the way it's supposed to be done, especially since the "professionals" - the landscape companies - promote this! Very sad indeed.Delete
It is awful and it does seem that so-called professionals do this a lot since I commonly see it in commercial and public landscapes. As you said above, that leads my neighbors to think they are supposed to do this too.ReplyDelete
I don't know how it will stop though.
I don't know how to stop it, either, but I think the landscape companies need to take a first step. They should acknowledge that letting the crapes grow naturally is not only beautiful, but better for the trees.Delete
This horrendous massacre is going on around here too. Poor crepes, they look so ugly with their naked stubs!ReplyDelete
They do look ugly like this don't they? Poor things.Delete
I hate to see it too I love my Crepe Mytle I cut the blooms off and mine bloomed three times I do this because I do not want a lot of sprouts coming up the last ones I leave they say the birds like the seed.ReplyDelete
Oh, you're so right! I am always pulling up little seedlings!Delete
I doubt this practice will end any time soon since it is easy money for the "landscapers". There were some nice 20 foot tall crape myrtles in my neighborhood that had only been trimmed to remove the side branches. I think there are new homeowners in the house. They actually paid somebody to cut off the top three quarters of trees and now they have five foot tall logs sticking up out of the ground. They are forever ruined. They can only be fixed by cutting them off at ground level and letting them resprout.ReplyDelete
I would like to do a blog post with pictures and suggestions for some of the landscaping mistakes in my neighborhood, but I don't want to offend anyone and my neighbors may have suggestions for my landscaping too. To each their own, I suppose.
Easy money for the landscapers - I think you hit the nail on the head there! So sad about those trees in your neighborhood. What a terrible thing to have to see every day. My photo came from a commercial landscape - I didn't think anyone's feelings would be hurt if they recognized the tree. There are many more of them just like that. Perhaps you could venture out a little way outside your neighborhood for your blog post. I understand your not wanting to offend anyone, but I think it would be helpful and informative.Delete
I hate to see the people coming to cut back the limbs from the power lines. They cut back some limbs from my Tulip Tree. The limbs died. They do not know anything about trees all they do is wrack. Can not afford to hire some one even if they could be found. When you cut a limb off of this tree the limb dies. It is a tree that does not grow every and it is so pretty in April.ReplyDelete
I saw the same thing in town - a beautiful tulip tree had been cut down, right in the middle, away from the power lines. It was sad to see the tree in this shape. I'm so sorry about your tulip tree. I didn't know that the entire limb would die. So sad.Delete