Photo: Steve Bender

Ask someone why they just chopped their crepe myrtle into stumps and they'll usually say, "They bloom better when you prune." OK, then. This one was pruned. Do you like the way it looks?

I don't. This tree looks like a bad hair day. It looks like someone let the air out of the Macy's Parade. It looks like a helicopter dropped Chris Christie on it.

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS when you commit crepe murder by cutting back a crepe myrtle by half last winter. Come spring, it starts growing like crazy to make up for its head that got lopped off by you. The whiplike shoots grow straight up 3 to 4 feet long, but when they bloom, the shoots aren't sturdy enough to hold up the flowers. So the mauled tree collapses in pathetic testimony to your copycat stupidity.

XTRA! XTRA! Read all about it! The world's worst pruning job is in your front yard! For instructions on how to properly prune a crepe myrtle, read "Crepe Myrtle Pruning Step-By-Step."