Crimes Against Nature (all over town)


“Pruned” crape myrtle above.

This isn’t the first post on this topic, and I’m sure it won’t be the last on the Internet.  You can Google “crape murder” and gets tons of hits such as this one.

I don’t get it, honestly:  Why do people want their beautiful crape myrtles to be ugly, mutilated, & deformed?  Do they really think this is pretty?


This is the time of year crapes get pruned in east Texas, and I’ve witnessed four such murders in the last month at various homes and businesses in my immediate neighborhood.

What has the poor crape myrtle done to deserve this?  I don’t see people hacking on dogwoods, redbuds, magnolias or multi-trunked pomegranates.

I doubt I can change this hacking practice either except perhaps to spread the word when I create a garden club (assuming it’s successful).

I tend to think it’s the “mow and blow” landscapers who practice this technique, but just around the corner from me is a homeowner who happens to be a retired physician (I assume he’s intelligent) who mutilates his own trees.



Is The Texas Chainsaw Massacre a continuing education course for mow & blow crews? 

I can see the course listing in the continuing education catalog now:


Date & Time:  March 28, 2017, 9 am -3:30 pm, Check-in at 8:30 am

Course Description: 

In this popular hands-on, one-day course, Chainsaw Massacre Director Tobe Hooper will provide practice and guided instruction in how to properly hack a crape myrtle to remove its vigor and beauty. Learn the science behind the hacking – what mask to wear, the sledge hammer to use, how to illicit horror in trees and people, when to hack, where to butcher, and why. Then go outside and actually do it. Dress for field work (leather mask, apron, boots) and bring your chainsaw, hatchet, hammers, shears, and a small pruning saw. You can also buy chainsaws on site from the Chainsaw Massacre Landscape & Garden CenterRetired physicians welcomed.

* est. 1974, a family-owned business meeting all of your sadistic gardening needs.

Comments from last year’s class:
“Very good information, real and professional.”
“Greatest class I’ve ever taken. I look forward to taking it again next year.”

I was going to list a link to The Chainsaw Massacre’s trailer appropriate for all audiences, but the trailer was too graphic.  (I’ve actually never seen the film. I’m a big sissy.)  If you want to read about this movie instead, here’s the link.

It’s obvious people don’t or won’t do their tree/plant research, but I don’t see how someone, even if he or she didn’t know better, would think a hacked-up crape myrtle is lovely.



The knobby crapes above have been mutilated in the same manner for years.

I can’t claim to have planted the crapes that came with my home, but I am happy to say whoever maintained them didn’t hack them, and they are shapely trees with interesting trunks because of this.



Above: Old crape myrtles in my back yard.





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