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Customer wants me to commit crype murder.

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by Holland, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. Holland

    Holland LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 740

    Ok so this really great new customer wants me to butcher his Natchez crype myrtles. There is a grouping of three that look to be 15 years old or so underneath the canopy of a couple pine trees. Looks like the current owner of the property rarely trimmed the crypes and they are quite beautiful with minimal "knobbing". I want to talk him out of it but it's his property and what he says goes. Any opinions?

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  2. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,670

    wounding promotes growth?
  3. 205mx

    205mx LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,355

    Do it I guess.
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  4. Holland

    Holland LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 740

    My post meant to say "previous" owner of propery rarely trimmed them. They are graceful beautiful trees. Now current owner wants to chop em with a saw to 6 foot or so.
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  5. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 16,998

    Hack em down, they will produce more flowers. I like to keep them like trees, but sometimes there close to a house and cutting them hard is all you can do.

    The wood is pretty is the main reason not to hack them real hard, it wont hurt them.
  6. Holland

    Holland LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 740

    Yeah. I like them as trees as well. Seeing your in Bama I know you see people hack on these suckers to the extreme. Same here in Mississippi. First warm weekend in March the wives get their husbands to "go to town" on the crypes in the yard.
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  7. Trees Too

    Trees Too LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,502

    That's the prob that customers just don't understand about pruning. They just want to instantly "downsize" a particular plant (or plants). And just can't conceptualize that that an act of "butcher" pruning will only harm the plant's future health, appearance, and growth. You need to explain the "1/3rd rule"!

    Since I'm in the north country, I have to ask how tolerant Crape Myrtles are of heavy pruning? Some plants, (Lilacs, crab-apples, forsythia), can be hacked heavily and still come back, better than before!!!!
  8. Holland

    Holland LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 740

    Crypes are like a weed. You could cut it at ground level and it's coming back. They can be such a graceful tree if lightly pruned. It's when people hack them back they get these horrible knots where new growth starts.
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  9. wildstarblazer

    wildstarblazer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 984

    Did you ask him why he wants them trimmed? Some people just think it's time to trim Crapes so let's do it. If he just doesn't like them tall, explain that they will get knuckles on them if hacked back too far. If he don't mind then do it. If he says oh I didn't know that, maybe we should leave them, then leave them.
  10. recycledsole

    recycledsole LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD
    Posts: 3,233

    just say that its not healthy to cut more than 1/3 of the plant

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