Since when does a neighbor have the right to tell you how tall

ilovemytrees(5b/6a Western, NY)April 14, 2014

your trees can be? Check out this guy's video(s) on his dispute with his neighbor. He calls the trees a "hedge" for some odd reason. Granted, the trees are HUGE, but since when does he (or anyone!) have the right to decide for another person how tall their trees can be?

Video #1 High hedge dispute with nasty neighbor, part 1

Video #2 High Hedge dispute with neighbor part 2

Video #3 High Hedge dispute with neighbor Part 3 Trees cut down!

Video #4 Tall trees finally gone! Hurrah!

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famartin(z5 NE NV)

I would think "never"... though I can see this possibly being an issue if the tree is at risk of falling on their property. Or maybe, just maybe, causing shade. Otherwise, the neighbor has no justification I can think of.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 3:51PM
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>> Since when does a neighbor have the right to tell you how tall your trees can be

The exact second you cede that right.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 3:56PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

The exact second you cede that right.

==>>> which usually is the moment you move into an area with a HOA ....

there was a multitude of reasons i moved to the country.. and one of them.. was to put 500 feet between me and the closest neighbor .... at that distance.. they are all very good neighbors .. lol ...


    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 6:16PM
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I have to agree with Ken A. Being born in NYC, I moved to Three Points, Az. 29 years ago. This is the view looking North East from my patio. Too bad your only allowed to post one picture. As for the trees in the videos, the guy definetly has a case against damage to his house!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 8:02PM
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When the "hedge" is a Leyland cypress barrier wall that is 30 feet high, and blocking sun and light from your yard all day.

There are "light and air" laws and easements in many places that prohibit planting things that will grow so tall they block light and/or impede air flow to neighboring properties. You can get a privacy hedge with a lot shorter plant than those monsters.

And/or when the trees are causing a hazard, such as tangling with electrical lines, or are unstable and likely to fall on the neighbor's house.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 8:29PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

What a mess. Next thing ya know, someone is gonna get shot! Seems like the neighbor (the one with the trees) has already gone on the warpath (whether warranted or not).

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 10:45PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Very interesting. I seem to recall a line of sight issue making the news around here. Was it for a neighborhood with a bluff and a lake I think?

Ken has a point about neighbors. Just like the railroad crossing a couple miles away where I can here the train whistle but not too loudly, there is a comfortable distance.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 8:54AM
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I think this is something that has been blown way out of proportion. Those trees may be 40' tall but from the looks of it the only thing that would hit the mans house is the very insubstantial top of those trees. All the limbs he was upset about would cause very little damage.

Even the parts that were standing in the one shot all look less that about 12" in diameter.

This guy is the type of person you definitely do not want in your neighborhood.

He is like the family from a coastal city in New England in our neighborhood, who is constantly complaining about rural southern activities like go-carts, ATV, and hunting in the area. If he wants a city environment why did he move to a rural area?

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 9:20AM
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robo (z6a)

...the very day I moved into my new house my neighbours were knocking on my door asking me to trim the privet hedge. Mind you, it's privet. People take their hedges VERY seriously in my (old, urban) neighborhood.

I cut it down to about four feet tall and I thought she was going to cry with gratitude. Wait until she sees me get out the chainsaw next year.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 9:25AM
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The Leyland Cypress does not do well in the US or you'd see more of these stories.

It was wildly popular in England and Ireland, and planted in all the wrong places ... much like some of the eucalypts in California. In the right place it's a good windbreak. In the wrong place, it's a huge, shallow-rooted, garden wrecker. Leylands are aggressive plants. They secrete a natural herbicide from their roots to reduce the competition from surrounding vegetation. Like black walnut, but stronger.

Their roots are relatively shallow, so large leylandii tend to topple over. (sometimes with no warning, one can just fall over. No gale-force winds needed)

Here is a link that might be useful: SF Gate article

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 9:39AM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

There are a lot of points which many of you, with the honourable exception of Lazygardens, are missing because you are looking at this story from the point of view the US with a great deal of misunderstanding of living conditions in the UK.

This is not a question of some poor tree owner being cheated of his rights. It is the tree owner who is behaving irresponsibly and selfishly by adversely affecting his neighbours' quality of life.

The trees are called a 'hedge', ilovemytrees, because they ARE, or were a hedge. However, Leyland cypress is only suitable as a hedge if kept clipped. When properly maintained they form a good privacy screen around a property. But when left alone they can destroy a neighbour's enjoyment of their home. Most of us here have tiny properties by US standards. Can you imagine being hemmed in by a thick row of dark evergreens reaching far into the sky, blocking all light from your house and making it impossible to grow anything in your garden? And don't forget shade is not a concept we need here.

This is a serious issue in the UK and Northern Ireland and there is now legislation to deal with it. If you are interested in understanding this issue, rather than making assumptions about whose rights are being violated, have a look at the link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hedge law

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 10:31AM
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There is a lot of misinformation out there regarding Leyland cypress. With all due respect to flora and our other UK members, I concede the tree can be a huge issue across the pond and that growing Leylands there is subject to numerous issues that one does not necessarily encounter here.

To be sure, some parts of the US are less conducive to good Leyland cypress growth than others. The high humidity of the Southeast promotes a canker that can be very damaging to LC's. And they are prone to bag worm across much of the east coast. But there is NO evidence that these trees are any more allelopathic than any other conifer and no more shallow rooted as well. Most trees ARE shallow rooted when all is considered, with 85% of the root system contained in the top 16" or so of the soil.

The primary issue with these trees in the areas where they thrive - like most of the west coast - is that they are not produced well by growers (often container grown with compacted rootballs and/or girdling roots), which can lead to blow downs OR they are not well-sited. A 60'+ tall fast growing conifer with 25' spread is not very well suited to most urban and suburban landscapes. But if one has the space or is willing to make the commitment to keep the trees sheared into a manageable hedge, they are perfectly acceptable trees.

I live next door to a property that has a 75' long hedge of Leyland cypress. They are trimmed annually, maintaining my view to the Olympic Mtns unimpeded, and sheared to keep out of the beach right of way. I have absolutely no objection to these trees and find they provide as much privacy to me as they do for the homeowner who owns them.

And dictating the mature heights of trees is a very common practice in many locations with HOA's or view sitings. I deal with it all the time as a landscape designer. It seriously limits one's choices when the maximum tree height is capped at 12"!!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 1:51PM
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joeinmo 6b-7a

The Brits have lost their rights long ago, they got suckered into the globalist agenda.

The airspace above your property goes up about 500 ft. There are no air rights, line of sight rights etc, when it comes to trees. If your grilling outside I may not like your smoke or smells, but it's legal.

The trees grows as tall as it wants, with the exception power lines that you give away your rights to when you accept electricity.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 12:14AM
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ilovemytrees(5b/6a Western, NY)

It makes me sick to my stomach to see these beautiful trees murdered!

He still wasn't satisfied when they were cut down! He complained about the tree stumps left, and how ugly they were, and how he was going to trespass onto the guy's property and cut them even more. I hope he gets arrested for that. What a jerk!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 9:09AM
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Guy comes off as a whiney pr***. That's not a hedge(anymore), that's a row of trees. The trees are chopped down and then he complains about all the free mulch(!). He is apparently horribly bad at estimating tree height (100'??? closer to 40'...) Thank God I live in a rural area (not by accident) where this isn't a problem. I would probably act the same way as the neighbor who left the ugly stumps for him to look at every time he went into his back yard. Childish maybe, but oh so satisfying.

All that based on his demeanor in the videos. The powerline issue was legit and the trees would possibly be a safety hazard in the future. What we don't see is how he corresponded with the neighbor initially. The neighbor could end up a bigger jerk than this guy.

However, You want sun? Go to the park. People intentionally build homes in the middle of the woods all the time. Perhaps it really boils down to a US vs UK mentality after all

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 11:45AM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Oh oh, I know when folks in America lost the right to plant tall trees if their neighbor was upset. The day after someone first complained about me having a parts car in the backyard. Big deal it had no front clip and four spare tires on it.


Just stirring the pot.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 3:05PM
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If you have no housing authority, or legal rulebook etc. Then you have a neighbor who has no real right to expect you to remove/trim something. They just make lots of noise hoping you will bend to their will.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 1:48AM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

There IS national legislation regarding overgrown hedges because this is a genuine problem in a small country with densely packed housing. On the other hand HOAs are very rare and I can grow whatever I like as long as it does not have a deleterious effect on my neighbours. Nobody can stop me growing vegetables in the front garden or allowing the grass to grow two feet high because these things do not spoil the neighbours' enjoyment of their own gardens. The legislation came about because it was needed. I still think some of you are not seeing that the situation in another country might be different from conditions in your own region. My entire plot is 15 feet wide and 20 feet long - that is the whole plot, not a single flower bed. If my neighbour had a hedge even 20 feet high I would get no sunlight in my garden at all, ever. In the winter the sun is very low here and even a 6 foot hedge could put the garden in shade for months. It would be like living at the bottom of a well. And these hedges grow fast. When you move in the hedge might be fine but within a couple of years a hedge is a row of trees and the whole situation is different. So maybe we do have to live in a way which many of you would consider constraining - but it is essentially about being good, responsible neighbours and not allowing our choices or laziness to negatively affect the lives of the people we live alongside. We do not live alone in society and we have to consider other people. Perhaps some of you might like to read the attached story, if you are prepared to look at the issue from someone else's perspective.

Here is a link that might be useful: High hedges

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 5:01AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Not to address this particular case necessarily, but it's ridiculous not to be able to have a few mature trees in your yard just because you happen to have a neighbor who has chosen to have a small yard and thinks their right to sunlight overrides your right to trees.

The safety issues (large branches falling and power line problems) in this story may be valid and deserving of recognition, but if you don't want large trees, either buy a larger piece of land, move to somewhere with HOA type protection, or figure something else out. Don't whine on YouTube and be a busybody it-has-to-be-my-way neighbor.

I think the neighbor with the trees is fed up with the whiny YouTube neighbor and left the brush and stumps just for spite. Guess he figures that if the first guy insists on getting all legalistic, he will give him a little of his own medicine. Like I said before, it's a bad situation and someone is going to get hurt if things keep progressing.

I also noticed that the busybody neighbor threatened to trespass on the other neighbors property and take matters into his own hands. Apparently, he's only interested in following the law precisely when it's in his own favor.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 9:11PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

brandon7- you're still not appreciating the difference in the situation between the two countries. People here do not 'choose' to have a small yard. That is the size of plot homes are built on. To have a lot as large as the average US yard is beyond the wildest dreams of most of the population - indeed there just aren't many yards that big in existence. Chances are the neighbour has an equally small yard. The trees were never intended to be trees but were planted as a hedge which has been allowed to run amok. What each of us does in our gardens has a direct effect on the well being of our neighbours. It is not 'whiney' to want to see the sun. There is national legislation on this issue - it was not drafted for fun but because this is a genuinely important issue - which clearly many posters here have no conception of. I just don't seem to be able to get the reality of the problem through on this forum. We are not a nation of tree haters but we are a nation that is forced to live cheek by jowl and as such we have to have consideration for how our actions affect our fellows. We cannot go about claiming 'rights' without also addressing our responsibilities to our neighours.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 2:36PM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

Agree w/Gardengal that most (But not all) plants have a proper place. On giant lots and farmsteads in a suitable climate, like the PNW, I can see how Leylandii are appropriate. Maybe not an exceptional choice, but at least appropriate.
But I agree with floral_uk that hedge laws in the British Isles make perfectly good sense. Another thing many Americans may not have realized is how low the sun angle is there. In winter a tall hedge could completely block any light from reaching a small yard if it were in the right position for that.

The overuse of Leylandii disgusts me, though, when its used to screen even normal American sized suburban lots on the east coast. Around here about 30% of them look sickly, and I would assume some of the rest of having to get sprayed to avoid looking sickly. Another way our climate has more vicissitudes than the PNW is heavy, wet snowfall. I just noticed a leylandii hedge in my town where the plants were partly splayed out and now have ugly busted branches hanging down. The most galling thing is they are only useful as a quick fix. If people would be a little more patient, broad leaved evergreens prove to be more manageable for hedges. Ilex might grow 2/3 as fast but have many advantages: better disease resistance, better snow resistance, ability to be completely regenerated if necessary (cut to the ground).
In the zn8/zn9 British Isles with all the choices of BLE available, it seems even more ridiculous to me that people plant them for this purpose.

This post was edited by davidrt28 on Sat, Apr 19, 14 at 20:31

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 8:08PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

"'re still not appreciating the difference in the situation between the two countries."

I am not trying to address the legal differences between the countries. Differences in lot size between the two countries is completely irrelevant. There are many places in the US with small lots. There are many places in the UK with very large lots. It's not about the country!

Floral, why is one person's desire for full sun exposure in their yard more important than some other person's desire for shade or for the beauty of large trees? If my property was very small and surrounded by big trees, I too might wish for the trees to be removed or kept at some lower height, HOWEVER, what right (morally, ethically, socially, etc, but not legally) would I have to force my neighbors, who desire large trees on their property, to give up their desires? It's a little different in an HOA situation, where every resident has chosen to live by certain standards. Being forced by the government not to have large trees would be a real negative for many people.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 9:24PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Well, I've done my best to explain the situation. This is not a question of large trees being intentionally grown or desired. In fact we have tree preservation orders all over the place which prevent the removal of mature trees. But these trees were a hedge to start with and the neighbour had light before the hedge was allowed to grow. I don't think you are appreciating either that shade is a huge negative in a British garden. We get so little sun, and in Winter so little light at all, that it is a very precious asset and has a vital contribution to personal well-being. The right to light is actually enshrined in ancient laws here. If you bought a home and the neighbour had a 6 foot fence round their land but later extended it to forty foot high blocking out all light to your garden would you just sit back and say it was fine because it's their right? Or would you complain?

You are still trying to apply concepts suitable for the US to the British Isles. Clearly the gulf in understanding is too great to overcome so I'll leave it at that.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 6:48AM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

"The Brits have lost their rights long ago, they got suckered into the globalist agenda."
Some would argue they helped invent it! They also "invented" the modern notion of a "responsible government", "government by the people" (although we more fully implemented it at an earlier point), of a right to "due process", etc. etc.! Last I checked Brits still have a right to elect anyone they want to Parliament, and spend far less per person on those elections than in the US. So it would appear we are just as in thrall to special interests. If people in the UK wanted a second amendment, believe me they'd have one. If you want to believe they've all been brain-washed into thinking guns are more dangerous than they are, that's your right to believe that...but it isn't a failure of their civic governance that they don't have gun rights there.

"You are still trying to apply concepts suitable for the US to the British Isles. Clearly the gulf in understanding is too great to overcome so I'll leave it at that."

At least this yank agrees with you!

" Being forced by the government not to have large trees would be a real negative for many people."
I think if it were a real negative in most people's mind, these laws would not be becoming more popular in the UK and possibly elsewhere in northern Europe. The government forces people living in close quarters to abide by various other standards to benefit everyone's quality of life. You can't have a dog bark all night, you can't play loud music all night. I think trees that turn a yard into a dungeon are different, but not that different.
The closest I've been to the UK in winter was merely 5-6 days in October. Do they typically have the 1-2 week long stretches of sunny crisp days we have in October? Nope. Every day had mostly cloudy conditions, some drizzle, and just a few brief periods of the sun breaking through. It's dank, there's no other way to put it. The average # of annual sunshine hours for London is only 1500, and it's relatively sunny by UK standards. NYC is 2500, and it's somewhat cloudy by US standards. Anywhere in the SW, and almost all of the west besides the coastal strip, has 3000 or more hours.
Think of sunshine in such a place as a precious, limited natural resource. If your leylandii is completely blocking someone else's garden, you're essentially "strip mining" that resource to produce something that isn't required: more leylandii!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 8:25AM
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shillanorth Z4 AB

I have to agree with flora - that hedge was allowed to become overgrown and block the neighbour`s limited amount of sunshine. How would you feel if that was your neighbour`s hedge blocking most of the daylight you receive. I would also be pretty upset with the huge pile of slash left over from the trimming. I can`t believe the trimmers were not required to haul it away. As the homeowner stated, it could become a rodent nesting issue in addition to the eyesore that he has to deal with.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 5:44PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

"But these trees were a hedge to start with and the neighbor had light before the hedge was allowed to grow."

Yep, that's what happens when trees grow, they make shade. That even happens here in the US.

"I don't think you are appreciating either that shade is a huge negative in a British garden."

I don't think you appreciate that the neighbor with the trees wanted those trees probably just as much as the busy-body neighbor wanted the sunlight. I don't think you appreciate the fact that not everyone has the same taste in the amount of sunlight they'd like (some people actually like living in the woods). And, I'm not sure you appreciate the value many people put on being able to do what they want, within reason, with their own property. Collectively, citizens there may have decided that overgrown hedges are not a reasonable freedom, but that doesn't mean that the opinion of the neighbor with the trees is not a valid one. He may be required to cut his trees, but he doesn't have to like it (and apparently doesn't).

I too wouldn't want my property overly shaded by trees, but here in the US we would have to take some personal responsibility to ensure that such a thing didn't occur. There are many ways to accomplish that including a HOA arrangement. Here in the US we have decided, in most places but not all, that a person has the freedom to have large trees on their own property even if they block light or a view.

"How would you feel if that was your neighbor`s hedge blocking most of the daylight you receive."

How would you feel if you owned a piece of property and were not allowed to grow trees where you thought they should be on your own property?

"I can`t believe the trimmers were not required to haul it away."

I know very little about the laws over there, but I'd bet the cleanup was legally required. However, the neighbor with the trees was likely leaving the brush and totem poles for spite because they thought the busy-body neighbor was being a jerk and figured they'd at least make him work to get the cleanup ordered.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 7:29PM
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Sara Malone Zone 9b

Check out Britain's latitude and then look to see hours of daylight in winter and you'll get an idea of why this is a much bigger issue in Britain than in the U.S.

People have written essays about the 'darkening of the British Isles' due to C. leylandii. It's not a small thing.

Floral_uk I feel for you. Sorry that self-righteousness manifests itself so easily and with so little direct experience.


    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 10:26PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Sara, care to explain your last comment? The way I take it, it sounds like you are being exceptionally rude, and for no reason! It's not the first time I've seen comments from you that seemed out of place. People have different opinions and should be free to express them here on GardenWeb. If you don't agree with that, it might be better for you not to participate.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 7:53PM
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I can see your point Floral. I have a large yard, and there is a neighbor who tries to push around the guy next to him. This guy next to him is in my old house/yard. He claimed to own trees I planted when I lived there, which he of course didn't own. I made sure they were not on this bully's property when I planted them. We all (3) have large yards. Those are the type of neighbors I meant. There is no HOA, We are in a rural agricultural area.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 8:32PM
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Sara Malone Zone 9b

This from the man who accused me of cheating on my taxes. Oy!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 8:54PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

"This from the man who accused me of cheating on my taxes."

I have no clue what you are talking about, Sara, and I doubt anyone else does either. I also fail to see what your petty personal attacks have to do with this thread.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 10:23PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Well, Sara, I took time to read through all 32 threads on GardenWeb where both you and I had posted. NOT A SINGLE THREAD, THAT I COULD FIND, HAD ANY MENTION OF YOUR TAXES IN IT! I did find a number of posts where you were rude to me and to others, but nothing related to your taxes. What's more, since I don't even know you or anything about your taxes, I find the whole allegation rather bizarre.

I have seen instances in the past where people on GardenWeb posted while under the influence of alcohol, medication, or other drugs. I don't know you or whether you drink or partake, but this allegation makes me wonder if that is a possible explanation for your behavior.

In any case, it's a real shame that such a baseless personal attack has interrupted someone's thread. While I wasn't the one that initiated the intrusion, I still hope Ilovemytrees got the desired information from this thread and wasn't bothered too much by the detour.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 9:24PM
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I was the idiot who made senseless posts while drunk. More than once. I realize I need to stop. I can post and then worry about drinking. I don't want to get kicked off here. There isn't any other bunch of people who like trees like those peeps on here. Others close to me, their eyes glaze over when I talk trees.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 7:12PM
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Poaky, I find your drunk posting hilarious lol

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 7:22PM
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Sara Malone Zone 9b

I wash trying to posht something about trees but (hic!) I kept getting confushed (hic!) I think that the trees had green leaves and brown bark (hic!) can anyone identify theesh trees? (hic!)

Wait! The trees just turned PURPLE!!! Oh my goodness they are psychedelic! Far out! They are dancing and flying through the air! Now I'm flying through the air.

I'm going to go post this on the mushroom forum!


    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 7:46PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Poaky1, you definitely aren't the only one, and I don't think you've ever posted anything offensive (just a little confusing). It was kind of funny because after reading one of your posts, I thought I might be drunk and I practically never drink. LOL

As for this neighbor topic, I'm sure glad I haven't ever had quite this problem. At my farm, I do have a neighbor with a very messy looking yard and a swimming pool pump that sounds like a disaster siren. But my property is big enough that even if he planted a large tree on the line, it wouldn't have much impact on my enjoyment of the place. When he plants moderately invasive stuff that reseed into my field, that too is really annoying. He's a nice guy, but a nightmare of a neighbor.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 10:56PM
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What...we're not supposed to be all drunk and whatnot on here? G'bye folks!


PS....I do get what Floral speaks of. I live in what is considered (and is) one of the northernmost states in the US. The 45th parallel-that's half-way between the equator and the N. pole-runs right through here. But if one looks at a map of Merry Old, they'll see it is much farther north. As such, sun angles in winter take on a meaning that may seem quite foreign here. For my part, I don't know a single soul who doesn't come down with at least a touch of Seasonal Affective Disorder around November in these parts. Day after day of gloom, each one of those days a little shorter than the prior. Makes it easy to have a feeling for what the UK resident may experience.

I didn't look at the videos but I get the sense of what's happening here. A couple thoughts: In all cases of neighborhood strife, it seems best that the parties involved talk to one another first, long before it gets to this point. I wonder if opportunities weren't lost in that regard. The other point-Leylands grow sufficiently fast that you can't say the angry, shade-hating guy shouldn't have foreseen this and went with an different property, if in fact he moved in after the plants were installed.
Finally, there is a fine line in all cases where your freedom to do as you wish conflicts with someone else's freedom to live as they wish. In any and all such cases, compromise of some type is far superior, IMO, to rigidly holding your ground. Life's too short. And as much as I am a tree-lover (Anyone who follows my thousands of trees planted knows this) there are legitimate cases, and this appears to be one, where the other factors may trump the desire to leave these be. The fact this is a hedge gone awry does seem to have a part to play in this matter.


    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 9:03AM
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Methinks the tree owner needs to go throw some bamboo on the complainer's property. Not only does it grow like nothing else, it's very difficult to eradicate. :)

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 9:12AM
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Lol- revenge by bamboo. For all we know the tree owner planted these trees as original revenge. He may be working on plan B as we post.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 10:03AM
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What's sort of amusing is that the British have a reputation for rigidly separating properties by fences and hedges (much less common in the U.S.), Apparently there are limits to walling yourself off from the neighbors. ;)*

*to be fair, I sympathize with the desire for privacy, except when it gets bizarrely territorial. For instance, there's a discussion now on another forum about a neighbor squabble where someone's arborvitae hedge gradually grew to the point where it began extending over the neighbor's property line, and that neighbor decided to severely prune back the hedge - apparently not realizing or caring that the resultant hack job would considerably uglify his own view of the hedge. In my own neighborhood, the new guy a couple properties down from us decided to put up what seems to be a spite arborvitae hedge on the line between him and my next-door neighbor. Unfortunately for him, half the hedge is now dead, which makes for a really nice impression.

My own evergreen hedge (Green Giant arborvitae) is positioned to provide a privacy screen from the road, not the neighbors. Eventually it may get tall enough to gloomify the adjacent part of my yard, but I'll be headed off to other parts by then.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 9:04AM
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I'd like to chime in on bamboo as a screen. My house on three sides is screened in by bamboo. It is planted in two and a half foot high of soil, boxed in raised beds.

I have total control because the rhizomes stay near the surface. Any errant rhizomes that do make it to the bottom of the bed and pop under are rare and easy to manage. It took three years to completely block out every surrounding two story house. Yeah, you could run around nekkid if it so tickled your fancy, but unfortunately, there are only just a few hippie-type, single gals that live in the neighborhood.

You wouldn't know you were in the suburbs, if you were magically transponded to our back porch. The sound of bamboo leaves blowing In the breeze is intoxicating and serene. Many people have commented on this when they visit. I've never had anyone except for small children not be gobsmacked by the aura, sitting at the table out back.

I grow twenty species of running bamboo on three different properties. Bamboo if managed each and every year is not the nightmare anyone might say it is. Several running species grow many fewer, much larger culms, that don't spread out very fast. This is the type of bamboo that is easiest to manage, but are not commonly available to the public.

The two running species from the genus Phyllostachys (running bamboo) that are most common in a typical American nursery, ironically, put out too many, smaller culms and require a few more hours anually to cull out.

I'm trying to think of another plant that there are so many people who have an opinion about, but know so little about, but I can't think of any. Bamboo management is ALL ABOUT TIMING. If you ignore the calendar, then you really don't know bamboo.


This post was edited by Mackel-in-DFW on Thu, May 1, 14 at 13:10

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 12:57PM
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Becuase of the way bamboo grows,it can be cut down to any height, and will remain exactly that height for an entire year. M

This post was edited by Mackel-in-DFW on Thu, May 1, 14 at 13:06

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 1:05PM
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Glad it was funny, not offensive. One post about the train screaming, I believe I had Honey Boo Boo on TV.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 7:32PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Better than on your couch.

Along with the rest of them.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 7:57PM
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