Winter gives all of us a break from chores in the garden. Of course, from time to time I see someone that gets a little zealous with pruning and commits Crape Murder. Such is the case in the photo. Less pruning is better than too much pruning. In fact, you don’t need to prune crapemyrtles every year. The rule remains the same, only prune out dead, broken or limbs rubbing against another limb. On occasion, a plant can become too dense and removing some of the limbs back to the main branch will provide better circulation. If you have an old plant, many people have cut them back to the ground and they start over with a new plant. This time, they don’t commit Crape Murder and they only choose branches that make it more structurally attractive.

Crapemyrtles are extremely hardy. Should you decide to move a crape to a new location, you need to get all the roots dug up or it will continue to grow a new plant. If you do need to make some selective pruning, it’s easier to do during the dormant season when you can see the branching without leaves and flowers getting in the way. But please, don’t do the unthinkable and commit Crape Murder. The plant won’t die, but it ruins the natural shape. The leaves and flowers come out much later and you miss out on the beauty of this amazing plant.

The Duncan Enhancement Trust Authority (DETA) planted some shade trees and crapemyrtles in four of our parks this fall. New park signs will go up in the next few months. The City has added new playground equipment to Olen Sledge Park and Hillcrest Park will be next. We are hoping to make a difference, along with the Park’s Department to make our parks more attractive. We hope you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy the changes that have been made by DETA and the City. It’s important that we care for our City by making it as attractive as we can. All of us can be part of the solution by avoiding littering and maintaining our yards. It’s a New Year and we can make this a good one. Help make Duncan beautiful!