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CHS Pics | The colors of fall crepe myrtle breakage season on Capitol Hill

Image from reader Robert in the CHS Facebook Group

No, a bolt of lightning probably did not split the crepe myrtle tree this weekend on Capitol Hill. And it probably was not antifa.

The CHS Facebook group filled up with posts of concern on Saturday and Sunday. Sometime — probably Friday night — the blooming tree just across from the Harvard Market QFC ended up split down its center, pink flowers scattered to the wind.

But here’s the thing. Those crepe myrtles have done this before.  The pink blossoming trees lining the sidewalk along the Seattle Central building at E Pike and Harvard tend to break when their leaves and flowers are fullest and the first rains and winds of fall come.

Here’s an example from deep in the CHS archives in 2009. Yes, broken blossoming branches made headlines back then. And, apparently, they still do.

Blossom burdened branches broken on Pike

You can add the annual fall crepe myrtle breakage to the list of mildly interesting seasonality around the Hill along with the “summer limb drops” that come along in July and August when leafy branches give way because extended dry spells that leave roots unable to support the needs of the leaves, weakening the structure of the branches. Fall can also bring poster culling season to Pike/Pine and sneaker harvest time to 11th and Pike.


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