Neighbor mowed my mock orange - any chance for survival?

spoonplayer(z6 PA)May 5, 2008

My neighbor entered my fenced yard and mowed my lawn, which was mowed less than one week ago, to 'run out his gas' so he could sharpen his lawnmower blade. He mowed my 24-inch tall mock orange (which had leafed out nicely) to the ground. All that is left is an inch or so of mangled branches - no leaves and no nodes.

Is it a goner? I will admit that I hid my dismay, but went inside and cried. I coddled it all winter and had literally just finished a google search of what any future flowers might have looked like. I am so sad.

Please, someone tell me there is hope. No, just be honest, please. Why would someone mow your lawn without asking? I am distraught.

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bullthistle

It should come back so don't be disappointed, but it will be a couple of years. He'll need to sharpen his blade now. It takes all kinds to make the world go round!

Here is a link that might be useful: Propagating Perennials

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 10:11PM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

You really need to tell him what he did, and perhaps suggest that he replace it, although it probably will come back. He could have run out his gas in his own yard.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 6:24AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

if you find a way to kill it.. let me know ...

took mine a few years to bloom ... so not much loss ...

i am surprised it needed to be coddled all winter ... and the only reason i mention that.. is that there is a potential to kill things with too much love.. rather than benign neglect ... figuring you are pretty new to the garden thing.. relax ... and dont take it all too personally ... plants live .. plants thrive.. plants die ... dont worry about it ...

keep it properly watered .. which means slow and deep and let it nearly dry before you water again .. insert finger to second knuckle to understand how water moves thru your soil ...

put a lock on the gate. ..

ken

PS: how do you mistakenly mow a 4 foot bush???? does he have a drug problem????

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 9:34AM
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chapelhillgardener(7a NC OrangeCo)

I won't detail here the numerous, sordid ways I abused my mock orange in it's early years, but I'm looking at it as I type - it's covered in bloom and beautifully shaped.

I'm with Ken - get a gate lock. The guy has no business in a gardener's yard.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 10:15AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Another thing that might work well (instead of the lock on the gate) is a piece of rebar buried just deep enough so that it's not obvious. Of course you'd have to make sure to miss it yourself.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 10:40AM
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jeff_al

as ken writes, they (philadelphus, right?) are hard to kill (in my location, anyway). can be pruned hard and will come back vigorously. it will have a complete growing season to recover and you could see flowers next spring.
i would make clean cuts with sharp pruners and take off the frayed ends.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 10:45AM
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spoonplayer(z6 PA)

Thanks for the advice and reassurance. I will admit, I may have taken this too hard, as this was the first shrub I planted in my first house - well, half-house - I literally visited with it three times a day. Who knows, it may still live.

Long story short, the neighbor is still clueless (I don't want to damage our neighborliness) but I do need to keep him out of my yard. I may put a sign on the gate asking people to enter at the front...that may send a subtle "keep out" message. Or "Beware of Dog" but I would have to follow up by getting a dog.

I love the rebar idea, but then I'd feel guilty if someone got hurt. How you miss a two-foot shrub I do not know.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 8:44PM
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butterfly4u

Spoonplayer,
Get a LOCK on the gate.
End of problems.
Good Luck!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 1:41AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Any chance for survival of the neighbor? Maybe that should be your question. Clearly there is no true neighborliness to be restored. Some people appear to have been rewarded their whole lives for being aggressive and therefore are in the habit of trampling on others unless kept at bay.

What if he had hurt himself on your place while mowing? Sometimes it becomes necessary to exclude more than deer and rabbits.

The problem with cutting everything off a mockorange is that it won't bloom again until it has restored mature, flowering wood.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 8:29PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

This was no mowing accident...

He really needs to know. If he's clueless, you need to clue him in or else you'll wish you had when it happens again with something else. As bboy points out, what "neighborliness" are you preserving? The neighborliness that needs to be fostered is respect, not the neighborliness he's foisting on you.

tj

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 8:00PM
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buddyrose

>> spoonplayer: Long story short, the neighbor is still clueless (I don't want to damage our neighborliness) but I do need to keep him out of my yard. I may put a sign on the gate asking people to enter at the front...that may send a subtle "keep out" message. Or "Beware of Dog" but I would have to follow up by getting a dog. I can tell you something from my own "bad neighbor" experience: SUBTLE DOESN'T WORK - EVER. My next door "neighbor" used to let her dog come into my fenced in yard to poop. So I put a lock on the gate she was entering thinking "that will send a message to keep out". So she went to the gate at the back of my yard! AGAIN, when you're dealing with BAD NEIGHBORS, SUBTLE DOESN'T WORK.

I now have locks on all 3 of my gates. And I told her to keep her dog out of my yard if I ever forget to lock a gate. I said it nicely but I was very, very clear.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 9:27AM
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mori1(5b/6a)

Yes, you need to let your neighbor know and put a lock on your gate. Something similar happened to me a few years back. A neighbor took his lawn mower and decided to mower over my red twig dog wood because he thought it was a weed. How many weeds do you know have branches? Anyway, I confronted him about it. Needless to say Mr. beer belly never mowed that area again.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 4:40AM
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