Pruning isn't murder; government can be

One more reason not to reside in Richmond County: The recent article by Sylvia Cooper about the Augusta Public Services Department issuing letters to residents who prune back the crape myrtle trees on the city right-of-way clearly demonstrates more bad government ("Man takes notice of city's own tree cutting," April 4).

 

I agree with Dave Barbee, a letter recipient and tree planter who does not appreciate receiving the letter. Drive around Richmond County and observe the many eyesores more deserving of condemnation than the "improper" pruning of crape myrtle trees.

As for Augusta Tree Commission Chairman Leroy Simkins, pruning a crape myrtle is not murdering it. These trees are some of the hardiest trees around. It is nearly impossible to kill one, short of poisoning it. Many people prune them back, because they can grow quite large, which often leads to problems, depending where they are planted.

They can crowd other vegetation or each other; they can obstruct driveways and walks; they can grow to such a large size as to spoil an intended landscape effect. Many people prune them back each year and have done so for many years. I don't suppose that Mr. Simkins or other Public Services representatives object to homeowners trimming back shrubbery or pruning trees that encroach onto city rights-of-way and create a nuisance.

When the trimming of crape myrtles is questionably aesthetically beneficial, why not let the homeowner decide for himself? I imagine most taxpayers in Richmond County would rather have county-paid man hours used for productive purposes and not silly letter-writing.

John Snellgrove, North Augusta, S.C.

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