We turn our heads in horror when terrorists behead their captives and we decry depictions of punishment we feel doesn’t live up to our ethical obligations toward those we don’t like. Remember Saddam Hussein? The ‘Butcher of Baghdad’ as he was known, was sent to meet his 72 virgins as penance for his butchering predilection. So, why is it that intentional butchering and beheading of trees, especially crape myrtles has become the accepted norm? It would be bad enough if this happened once to a tree, but this bizarre ritual has become an annual first rite of spring for a growing number of horticultural sadomasochists.