Got a gold mine, but made my neighbor mad...

wertach zone 7-B SCSeptember 9, 2011

A contractor for the power company was supposed to be trimming in my area, according to a notice I received. I came home and a crew was taking down a tree in my neighbors yard, next to a power line. I stopped and asked them if they wanted to dump the mulch in my garden, instead of hauling it to the dump. They said yes and thank you!

My neighbor came home and saw them dumping it in my garden. She called me and said "That is my mulch!" I told her sorry, I didn't know you wanted it, but you are welcome to come over and get it. She slammed the phone down......

I guess she didn't tell them she wanted it. I hate when things like that happen.

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darth_weeder(z7 NY)

I'll go out on a limb and guess you two weren't exactly friendly before this incident.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 12:12PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

Actually we were. When I asked her to please do something about her dog barking all night, she apologized and moved him to the other side of her property. We talk whenever we are outside at the same time.

The only complaint that I have ever heard was from her now deceased husband. My Dad used to have cows and he ran a barbed wire fence two foot from their property line, which is about 6' from their driveway. When Dad got too old to take care of his cows and sold them. I bought the land from him and built a house on it. Her husband wanted me to take the fence down. I politely told him that I would rather leave it up in case I decide to get more cows.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 12:32PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Hmmmm...apparently the neighbor wanted the chips but didn't tell the tree workers that beforehand. Perhaps she had planned to come home and pay the crew when the job was finished, and intended to give them instructions about what to do with the chips then? If there is even a possibility that the homeowner might want the chips, I think that the crew should have checked with her first. After all, she's paid for them. I know you didn't mean any ill will, but you probably should have checked with her too.

People might be wising up to the fact that these wood chips are fabulous mulch, and not something to be "thrown away". Perhaps you could arrange for another load of chips to be dumped at her property?

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 2:45PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

That's what I would do...tell your neighbor that you will arrange for another load of chips. Tree companies ALWAYS prefer to find a free place to dump their loads, rather than having to pay a tipping fee at the landfill.

This was not a private contractor job, by the way, terrene, but a crew working for the power company. Hopefully, they had contacted the homeowner prior to removal, but if the tree was planted in the ROW, they really don't have to. The tree is considered public utility property, and it's role of those companies to keep the trees trimmed or removed to prevent problems with the overhead wires. This homeowner did not pay to have the work done.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 3:41PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Oh duh Rhizo, I should have noticed that! What is the row? Do you mean that the tree is in the the power company's easement? If so, in that case it's a whole different ball game. It wouldn't really be the neighbor's tree. I assume the town or the power company have the right to remove whatever in the easement.

First come, first serve on the chips I would say then. If the neighbor didn't ask for them first, then the OP has equal opportunity to them.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 5:17PM
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She might not be so mad if she had known that they are giving them away all the time. The power co. crews are usually looking for places to dump chips and around here they will deliver them free to customers if you call them and arrange it for the next time they're in your area. If you wanted to patch things up you could call the power co. and ask them how to arrange that, then give the info to your neighbor and tell her how easy it is to get some delivered whenever she wants them.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 6:29PM
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squirejohn zone4 VT

I guess it depends on what state you live in insofar as who owns the the tree. While utilities have the right to cut down or limb trees within their ROW the land owner still owns the tree and should have the the chips or logs for firewood etc. if desired.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 5:11AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

terrene, ROW is the Right-Of-Way....pronounced R.O.W. Yep, it's the easement. ;-)

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 4:01PM
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Tress in row are part of the fee simple ownership, technically. Around here, though, the power company guys usually take any sizable stuff for their own firewood. When they do trimming, more often the job is subcontracted to private tree companies with chippers, those guys like to keep the chips.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 7:31AM
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All that said, it did seem odd that if the neighbor wanted the chips she had not already arranged with the crew to get them, in which case they should have said no when wertach asked for them.

"What we got heah, is a failyuh to c'munnicate!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 11:02AM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

They came by with another load about an hour ago, second load of the day. I wasn't home when they dumped the first one. I told them to dump all they wanted to when they were here the first time. I grabbed the phone and dialed my neighbor, while I went out to the garden to stop them before they set up to dump.

She didn't answer, so I let them go ahead and dump it, since I didn't know where to put it on her land. That would be asking for more hard feelings! I asked them to give her a call if they had more later and any she didn't want, dump it for me. They told me they would call her in a few hours and if they couldn't get in touch they would dump it in my garden.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 1:52PM
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At least there is plenty and you've done what you could. Happy gardening!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 3:15PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

They took her a load! Thank goodness.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2011 at 9:48AM
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She's probably over there making a stink bomb out of it. Haha!

Really, I hope she gets over it because life is short and it's only mulch.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2011 at 10:25AM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

You handled that well, wertach.


    Bookmark   September 13, 2011 at 5:58PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

She called me last night and apologized, kinda. She said, Thanks for telling them to bring me the mulch, but I think this has hardwoods in it and it will attract termites. The tree they took down in her yard was a pine.

I kindly told her that the first pile that they dumped in my garden was a mixture of pine and hardwood. Her tree wasn't the only thing they had chopped up.

She said, Well that's OK, I just wanted MY mulch.......

Oh well, things happen.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2011 at 2:31PM
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terrene(5b MA)

All's well that ends well (more or less). :)

    Bookmark   September 14, 2011 at 8:23PM
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