Crepe Myrtle Butcher Reforms Wicked Ways

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 2, 2012

Polite society can’t agree on anything regarding the crepe myrtle, even how to spell it or whether it’s a tree or a shrub.
People especially argue about pruning techniques.
With a YouTube re-education, I am no longer a crepe myrtle butcher. Last year, I should have been arrested for crepe myrtle abuse. I have reformed my wicked ways.
There may be no other shrub — or tree — so forgiving. Some owners trim them mercilessly every year. Some lop them near the stump. Some cut them back to a fraction of their glory. And still they bounce back.
Arborists this winter have been lobbying for mercy for the crepe myrtle, the popular Southern home landscaping staple. I watched a variety of videos about how and when to prune the shrubs before tackling the task last week.
With each bush, I got better and better at the task.
Last winter I tackled the 30-foot Catawba variety by the deck. I trimmed a little here, a little there. Then a little more. I stopped when there were four 20-foot stumps. It looked awful. But it survived.
The videos demonstrated how to leave the full height of the tree and trim out over-lapping limbs that are rubbing. I trimmed weak limbs and dead branches. No longer a butcher, I’m an Internet-educated arborist. I’m applying for a free diploma.

Snow: Much Ado
About A Half-Inch

You call that a snow? The paltry half-inch our area received Sunday evening got a lot of people excited since it was the first measurable snow of winter — perhaps this winter’s one and only. TV weathermen gave it the same attention they used to assign to six inches. With February’s end in sight and pleasant weather in the forecast this week, they played the hand they were dealt.
Forsyth County schools were closed Monday for Presidents Day, eliminating the guesswork about whether the …