‘Tis the season for making boxwood wreaths, garlands of fresh pine, and of course donning the mangled remains of your professionally landscaped front yard with holiday fairy lights and other whimsical decor.
Are you a traditionalist? Why not adorn the hacked-off stubs of your once majestic crape myrtle with strings of white lights? Really put a lot of them on there and wrap them tightly (think: binding severed limbs with tournequets) then sit back and enjoy the show. Once the sun sets, those twinkly lights will really set off the freakishly stubby quality of your tree, and admiring neighbors will understand that you are a homeowner who is definitely in charge of his landscape, by god! Why, you have the power to transform a beautiful vase-shaped tree into a ridiculous parody of itself!
Perhaps your tastes run a bit bolder. Perhaps you really like to draw your neighbors’ attention to the open wounds of your landscape. Try festooning your butchered crape myrtle with giant white snowflakes this year! Be sure to tie them up right where the trunks have been sawn off so that the viewer’s eye is led to the cruelest focal point.
And lest you have any shred of doubt that your crape myrtle might not grow back properly ever again, that perhaps you should have said something to that nice gentleman with the chainsaw, this photo will set your mind at ease:
What? You say those little tiny shoots look “totally freakin’ ridiculous”? And you wonder if they might be much weaker than unpruned branches and perhaps not hold up under loads of snow and ice?
Maybe. But you’ve got to be tough with these trees. You’ve got to show them who’s boss! So what if there’s no logical reason to hack off the tops of crape myrtles, what with all the incredible variety of smaller cultivars on the market these days. That’s not the point. If you let your crapes grow naturally, next thing you know you might start telling your landscaping crew to stop edging your lawn with the string trimmer every week, or — God forbid — to stop fertilizing your lawn and just leave the grass clippings sometimes. And then where would we be?
It’s a slippery slope, folks.