Can't seem to find appropriate group for this problem

Dotty9July 5, 2003

I'll try to make this as short as I can....A new neighbor moved in next door,about a year ago.I have a row of Lilac bushes and other trees all along my driveway,which seperates our property from his....He is a single guy,and though my husband has discussed the property line with him on several occasions, this new neighbor does exactly what he pleases. He has taken it upon himself to trim all the bushes and trees on his side of the property,which I don't mind him trimming branches,ect that stick out into his driveway. But the problem is;he doesn't just trim things off,he goes into the heart of the bushes and cuts them right out;(which is on MY property)...Now its left about a 7' wide gap,where I had wild roses,Trumpet vine and other greenery,with a fountain in front of it. The fountain was surounded with lush greenery,like a little grotto....Now the fountain sits in this big empty space.SO,I planted a burning bush in back of the fountain,paid a lot of money for it.....NOW,to add insult to injury,this guy has put a chemical weed killer all along where he cut,so it wouldn't grow back. Now my burning bush is well into my property,not even near "the line",and he put that weed killer everywhere,and it KILLED my burning bush. I'm SO upset,I'm making myself sick over this. What do you do in a situation like this?

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Call the police and file a complaint against him . If you can clearly document all the plants that he has damaged and killed,do this before calling police. Take photos of all the damage done.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2003 at 8:38PM
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Dotty, I feel for you... as a gardener, there are few things worse than having someone make guerrilla attacks on your plantings!! I don't suppose a solid fence of some sort - even if it's just along that driveway section - is an option? Thus there would be a physical barrier between him and your garden.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2003 at 9:55AM
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Are the neighbors on the other side of his home being treated to the same distructive behavior you are? If not, then it could be a personal thing he's got with you. Sometimes people like that can be dangerous. I think I would take Lainy's advice and see about putting a fence up.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2003 at 4:59PM
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How awful! A fence sounds like a good idea. Has there been a recent survey? Have you spoken with him about this to make sure that he knows where the property line is? I am sure that you want to keep things cordial, but he is waaaaaaaaaaay out of line here. Yikes. Sorry. I am furious on your behalf!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2003 at 11:03PM
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if you're not up for a confrontation, call the police.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2003 at 9:42AM
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Start taking pictures. Get a log book. Also, he IS allowed to cut anything that grows over onto his side of the property. Are there stakes delineating the property line? If not, make sure you get some in there, even if it involves getting a survey.
Actually, we had problems with a neighbor encroaching onto our property and we eventually were forced to erect a fence. Best thing we ever did. Turns out this guy was actually taking over about ten feet of our yard slowly. Fences keep neighbors in their place. Good fences make good neighbors.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2003 at 4:51PM
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Perhaps before you go to the police, you could get a lawyer to write him a letter. Sometimes that's enough to scare people into good behavior without the full force of the police.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2003 at 9:02AM
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put up security cameras in areas he can see (even if they're fakes ones) and find a way to clue him in on your new cameras ... casual conversation about how your brother-in-law just started up a security business and your husband volunteered your house as a test project.

might make him think twice before doing anything to your property in the future.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2003 at 4:48PM
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I'm posting really late, but we have friends that dealt with this exact situation.

Our friend was the one that did the cutting. The neighbor, who lived an acre away, had fir type trees planted along the perimeter of her property. The branches were large and hung over friends driveway. He figured since they were hanging on his driveway it was his right to trim them (only on his side). He trimmed them back to the trunk of the tree (for the health of the tree). Well, the owner got very upset and she sued him. I don't remember the amount she got but it was like 20,000 dollars!

Evidently he had every right to cut the tree branches UP TO the edge of his property. He didn't have the right to cut them all the way to the trunk (which was about 2 more feet onto her property.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2004 at 12:11PM
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I second the message above. File a complaint with the police then take him to small claims court. Sue him for the max, about 5 grand, (which should reimburse you for the cost of the plants, your time for work done in the garden, and the health risk of turning your garden into a toxic waste dump. If you have children or animals, I'd keep them away from that guy and the chemicals he's dumping. Also, 6'high stockade fencing comes in 8' lenghts, cost anywhere from $8.00 to $12.00 (keep an eye out for sales from your local lumberyard) a section and are very easy to install. You just dig a hole for the post, set the post in, pour 1/2 bag quick concrete, (dry) pour water over it to set the concrete up, let it dry, then just top with the soil. Then you just nail the fencing to the post. As an added saftey measure against his chemical dumping, I would dig a trench about 2'-3' deep and 2' wide along the fence line, fill it with quick set concrete too. This way if he does pour more herbicide there's a concrete barrier to protect your plants. I had a friend who had to go through this and the court was 100% on her side. She got reimbursed for all the above and the judge even threw in the cost of the fencing and concrete expenses incurred because she had to resort to this to protect her property and the health of herself and her family. She now has no problem with the neighbor and has turned the fence into a pretty focal point in the garden by decorating it with birdhouses and little flower pots. Really pretty. I hope this helps you. If you are in doubt talk to the police about what action you can take. I'm sure that they will tell you, just like they told my friend, to take him to court.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2004 at 1:46AM
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I'm really curious how this thing turned out...are you still around??? anybody know?

I have a bunch of new homes going in along the side on my property, I sure hope I don't have to deal with this kind of thing.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2004 at 6:12PM
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It is important that you are right. Our neighbor called the police on my wife and I for trimming her bushes that intruded on our property. She was charged with filing a false police report. I second the suggestion that you take pictures.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2004 at 4:48PM
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Yes, I am dying to know how this turned out!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2004 at 10:37PM
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My father in law once came over and sprayed the fence line with round up to "help"us get rid of the weeds. Neighbors on two different sides complained and we ended up buying several flats of grass to smooth the problem over. Had a great relationship of many years with one of those neighbors until we moved. Why don't you talk to the guy. Maybe he hasn't thought through the effects on your side.Sandy

    Bookmark   February 15, 2004 at 11:51AM
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I had problems with the next door neighbors jungle hanging over my drive.I asked my attorney what I can do he said tell him to trim or Ill trim hell pay for it.but if its your land he cant trim.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2004 at 11:50AM
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If you feel that calling the police or suing are all you can do, I strongly suggest mediation instead. Mediators are trained for just this kind of situation, and they are really good at (1) getting each party to really hear what the other party thinks and feels; and (2) helping both parties come up with a solution they can both live with.

There is so much polarization and violence in the world, can't we all do our part to lower the volume instead of escalate it? I understand how frustrated you are, and I'm sympathetic, but I hope you can find a way to resolve this that doesn't leave anyone more angry than they started.


    Bookmark   April 13, 2004 at 2:56PM
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All I would do is put a fence up, I think people are too quick to sue in this country, even though I agree it sounds like he is grossly out of line. I second the suggestion that you make sure you confirm (and record as town document) the property line, then fence away. It will probably cost you less than a lawyer!!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2004 at 12:43PM
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good fences make good neighbors ...

i agree that does have the right to trim anything that hangs over or onto his property - using chemicals that kills an entire plant that is not on his property is wrong ... however burning bush is invasive and should not be propogated so the guy did us all a favor by killing it ...

    Bookmark   September 21, 2004 at 2:29PM
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