Pruning isn't murder; government can be

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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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patriciathomas 04/08/08 - 05:36 am
An attempt to use logic on a

An attempt to use logic on a city official always seems humorous to me.

JimCox 04/08/08 - 06:35 am
I'm sure that Dave was

I'm sure that Dave was concerned that the Crape Myrtles were a danger and could someday fall on his house, he was just performing some preemptive pruning to keep his home and family safe! There are so many other problem areas the City of Augusta could address, yet officials continue to choke on gnats.

DeborahElliott2 04/08/08 - 08:34 am
The city is keeping those

The city is keeping those poor sticks in the ground they called "pruned" trees? Do me a favor, don't plant anymore then. As for Dave Barbee, if the trees are on HIS property, then take this matter to court. Government has NO SAY in HIS yard. I do admit, it is rather funny that logic and city officials are used in the same sentence too. It is rather laughable at best. But if Mr. Simpkins is making sure those crape myrtles are being pruned as Knobby ugly sticks, perhaps he has never been in environmental horticulture classes as some have taken to IMPROVE their skills, not make some land look totally unwelcoming.

No_Longer_Amazed 04/08/08 - 10:04 am
Another case of 'drivel.' The

Another case of 'drivel.' The letter writer acknowledges the crape myrtle trees are on the city right-of-way, city code/statute specifically prohibits residents from cutting trees in the right-of-way, the city has every right to point out the violation, and I believe that letters are how residents are normally notified of code violations.

iletuknow 04/08/08 - 01:46 pm
If crape myrtles require

If crape myrtles require constant heavy pruning, then they were planted in the wrong place.

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