Friday, June 27, 2014


I don't want to show this to anyone in McKinney Texas. McKinney bills itself as the Crape Myrtle City.

And Paris, Texas has an annual Crape Myrtle Queen. I shall not be sending a link to that fair city as well.

It's the middle of the summer and these magnificent, tree-size Lagerstroemia fauriei were just starting to bloom. Then the U.S. Postal Service groundskeepers came and cut off the tops!
Why? Because it was part of the maintenance checklist.

Here's what our Crape Myrtles normally look like this time of year.
And here are the ones in front of the post office. I watched 20 people walk by and nobody noticed.
That means that if nobody cares, then why not leave them alone and let them provide shade and blooms all summer.
Here's one of the white-flowering Japanese Crape Myrtles in bloom. 
And here we are back at the Post Office. Maybe I should hang the stop sign in the trees!
I normally don't notice Crape Myrtles. But the ones at the post office are the species with the beautiful cinnamon colored bark....Lagerstroemia fauriei. Most of our trees here in Houston have the pale brown bark of L. indica.
Here's the beautiful bark of one of their trees.
I'll leave you with some nice blooms to think about.
Hope your Post Office is smarter than mine!
All for now.


  1. The Lone Star Campus here in Montgomery County is just as guilty as are tons of other businesses. It's ridiculous how people cut crape myrtles.

  2. Oh no, talk about brutal defacing of a tree, such a sad sight :(

  3. This breaks my heart. I see it all the time down here in SW Houston. We human beings can be both insane and irrational. I hope things change for the better in the future. Not sure I can thank you for this post (!) except that you bring attention to a practice that really ought to stop. Happy gardening, David!

  4. Ack! I'm not sure how you can post such graphic images! Now images of massacred trees are burned into my memory!
    In all seriousness, some people are just idiots.

  5. Very pretty Crape Myrtle trees, David. Think that they pruned the trees at the wrong time. It should have been done in early Spring and at the latest in mid Spring.

    I'm saving some money to buy the bright red ones for Zone 6a/b. We don't have that many butterflies here so .. I bought one small pack of Joe Pye Weed seeds and am growing them here. I've not seen any seedlings yet. I've read that they take a longer time to sprout. Keeping my fingers crossed. I hope that those lovely pruned myrtles will look beautiful soon. Have a beautiful weekend. Namaste

  6. oh, good heavens, what did they DO ?!!! I HATE that!!!

  7. Maybe they'll notice the exfoliating bark, think that it is disease and chop them to the ground.

    I hope whomever ordered this act of Crape Mangle done and the worker who carried out the demand have to walk past these trees every day. I'm sure they avert their eyes.

    It's easy to see this is not the first time these trees were chopped, last time further down.

    There should be signs in plant nurseries: "There are Tall Crapes and Dwarf Crapes. Make SURE you get the Height you Need."

  8. I've heard this referred to as 'Crape Murder'.
    And, you can easily see why.
    When will they ever learn?

  9. This really should be criminal. I'm sorry to report that "crape murder" has become more and more common in Washington, DC over the last few years. 10 years ago I almost never saw it here, but now, many lovely old trees are being subjected to this butchery. Crape myrtles are so low-maintenance, and have such a nice natural form, and this kind of pruning is just so unnecessary. I really have to wonder who is training people to do this, and who thinks it's either (a) correct or (b) attractive.

  10. The governor should immediately sign a decree ending brutality to crepe myrtles, not sure why this is a common sight in Texas, it's embarrassing to our state!


I always appreciate your comments & questions! Happy Gardening from David/ Tropical Texana

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