“I was outraged to see VDOT chopping two crape myrtles unnecessarily this morning at 8:10! Why? How can they do this? There aren’t even any power lines? This is NOT the way to properly prune this tree!” – citizen report on May 22nd.
A concerned citizen reported the abuse, hacking, and violation of crape myrtles by VDOT crews on Mason Avenue. The Mirror promptly contacted town staff to ask if they were aware of the “pruning” effort. They said the walked out on Mason and did not see any pruning operations. The Mirror next supplied photographic evidence, and the response from the town was, “Yep. That’s a VDOT crew in the VDOT right of way. Presumably doing tasks under a VDOT work order. I suggest you contact VDOT with questions or concerns.”
Probably a little late for that.
For all the preachy talk about Main Street, Community Enhancement or whatever, this seems like a rather lazy, Laissez-faire approach to maintaining a streetscape. Granted, VDOT can ultimately do what it pleases in its right of way, however at what point does the town get in their face over doing things like this? You would think the town would like a heads up when work like this is taking place in town. A little courtesy goes a long way, especially in the business district.
The importance of crape myrtle pruning
Why prune crape myrtles correctly? Correct pruning yields gracefully shaped trees with more blooms that are held upright on strong stems. And flowers arrive earlier than do those on unpruned or mispruned plants.
Crape myrtles bloom on new growth, so prune them in early spring before they break dormancy. Although some gardeners prune their crape myrtles in the fall, I do not recommend doing this. Fall pruning not only creates an unattractive look for winter but also removes the current year’s growth as a buffer against any potential winter damage.
Jane McKinley says
Thanks for increasing our awareness of this event. Although not native, Cape Charles’ crepe myrtles are key to the beautification of the town. And they have been well managed vs. the murder that we witnessed this past week. Let’s put pressure on the town to, at minimum, communicate to VDOT our displeasure at this ignorant disfigurement of these beautiful trees. And right there on Mason, too!
David Gay says
Why not utilize the Master Naturalists to provide oversite on the trees and shrubs in Cape Charles. Inform VDOT that they should notify The Master Naturalist Committee that a work order is being issued. The Master Naturalists can guide VDOT on how and when to properly trim the trees. Has anyone determined what prompted the work order? Was it a store owner who wanted better store front visibility? I don’t think VDOT does any work they don’t have to perform. Hey Mirror how about doing some investigative reporting and find out what prompted VDOT to butcher the trees. And while you are at it find out who chopped the tree in front of At Altitude Gallery.
VERY well said David and Jane! Speaking with my main street hat on we were certainly not involved in this decision and are doing our very best to get a plan together to help with flow of the sidewalks and beautification, doing something of this approach would never be part of our plan. We have several Master Naturalist, Master Gardeners and landscape professionals on the team and they will be a part of all plans instituted for the main street efforts. Not sure where the work order came from but with my soon to be Town Council member hat on I will certainly find out.
Crape Murder makes me scream every-time I see it! I have not seen it happen very much here in Cape Charles and am very surprised. The public works team has always used great care when pruning the crape myrtles throughout the medians in town ( per my observations) ….this is shocking. Thanks for bringing it to the forefront, but hope all will understand this in no way a Cape Charles Main Street project.
Marita Patterson says
Good luck. Remember when VDOT “crepe murdered” every single creep myrtle from the bridge to the Northampton County line, back in 2011 or 2012? The project took weeks. A group of Master Gardeners called, emailed and wrote to VDOT, complaining about the pruning technique. VDOT didn’t bother to answer any of the emails or letters, was dismissive on the few occasions we were able to talk to someone on the phone, and not one crepe myrtle was spared.
Sam Parks says
What repercussions do they face for raping those trees? What idiots.
Deborah Bender says
So let me get this straight. Y’all are pissed off about VDOT cutting back the trees, but no one is upset about VDOT putting in a driveway for Bay Creek. Is the annexation agreement clearly states that Bay Creek was supposed to pay for the road. Not only did that not happen but every taxpayer in Northampton County gets to pay for Bay creeks driveway! No one says a word when the town wastes money but let VDOT come along and trim back some trees and everybody is mad. The people that live in Cape Charles all buy bottled water and no one complains about the shity drinking water. I am so glad that we sold our house and got the hell out of that town!
Mike Kuzma, Jr. says
Cede your rights to a far off Government and this is what you get.
Gee, Virginians USED to get that concept. I guess Liberalism just tastes better.
Dana Lascu says
Here is a recent-history lesson: many of the in-town crepe myrtles on medians and on the side of streets/avenues were donated by former owners of Bobtown Nursery, Cape Charles residents Karen and David Gay, and former residents Ivy and Ephie Weitzner. I look forward to seeing their blooms when I swing by one day on the way to Onancock (a well-managed town where the water is clean, yummy, and cheap, and where the cops see you as more than just a ticketing opportunity, and take care of you and yours, like Sambo used to). Y’all please take good care of those trees.
Frank Powell says
Funny how come-heres and tourist talk about a place like they were born and raised there. It must be rough to crave a hometown you will never have, as you were not born, raised and live there.
Mike Kuzma, Jr. says
And there is the reason that CC will never prosper.
Nasty, bigoted locals blaming all their woes on the tourists.
Wrap yourself tightly in the chains that bind you, TWANLOC.
Frank Powell says
There was a sparrow who refused to join his flock which was flying south for the winter. He refused to listen to the elders thinking he could make it on his own.
Winter came, it was too cold and the little sparrow froze and fell to the ground and waited for death under an onslaught of snow. A water buffalo happened by and crapped all over the bird. The pile of dung warmed the bird and brought it back to life. The young sparrow lay in the dung all warm and happy, and soon began to chirp for joy. A passing cat heard the bird joyfully chirping, took the bird out of the pile of cow dung, and ate it.
1. Listen to people who have more experience than you.
2. Not everyone that shits on you is your enemy.
3. Not everyone that gets you out of the shit is your friend.
Don Bender says
To the best of my knowledge you don’t even live here Mike. The powers-that-be have turned the town of Cape Charles into a tourist trap. While I don’t live in town anymore, one of the main reasons my wife and I sold our home was because the town is being run buy a bunch of jackasses. The town of Cape Charles is so heavily in debt they will never see the light of day. The people that move here have pretty much got their heads in the sand and don’t even worry about the indebtedness. All that happens in the town of Cape Charles is higher taxes and water bills. Everyone is so freaked out about the crepe myrtles getting trimmed and no one gives a rat’s ass about the fact that half the time you can’t even get a town official to worry about children drowning, lousy water, and the indebtedness of the town. All they think about is dragging the tourists in to the beach and hopefully some of the stores will make a few dollars. I would really like to meet you in person Mike so that I could let you know exactly how I feel about your shity comments about the nasty bigoted locals. It would be worth a few nights in jail.
Mike Kuzma, Jr. says
After reading your reply, Don I can actually say that if we met, it is far more likely that you and I would agree on the nature of the Town’s administrations. I too sold my home in CC for the same reasons you did.
BUT you cannot ignore the economic fact of ‘a changing highest and best use”. I’m sorry that it bothers you, but it is a fact of life that towns and land will change use over time, and sadly it is time for CC to accept it is a tourist town.
There is no other opportunity. No prison, no corporate presence, no manufacturing(none sufficient to take up the slack).
As for your anger, am I not allowed to note that Mr. Powell has cast we tourists and come here’s as indigent waifs searching for a home town, one we never had? Sorry, if he wants to talk trash, I am calling him out for it.
As for your comment about meeting, I am in CC occasionally(I take my kid to the Coffee Shop for smoothies, Rayfields for ice cream and always ALWAYS find a way to spend a few bucks in town, ya know, practicing what I preach) and will gladly send you flowers.
You have a pleasant day now, don’t let your anger give you a heart attack.
Deborah Bender says
I used to live in Onancock and heck yes they have wonderful water! I have begged the town to send their boys up to an and cock to figure out how to get the chemicals right in the water but they just won’t listen to me! LOL!
Stuart Bell says
SUPREMES: YOU DON’T HAVE TO BAKE THAT CAKE!
Justices side with Colorado baker on same-sex wedding cake!!!
Don Bender says
Mike Kuzma….Would you really want a maximum security prison within a few miles of the elementary your children attend? That is where they were going to build it. Plus the fact that we would have had all of the prisoners little friends visiting. NO THANK YOU!