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Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

Posted by rena911 (My Page) on
Sun, Jul 15, 07 at 9:45

Last year I moved into a beautiful stick-built modular, designed just perfect for my needs--I am a "young" senior. It's on 1/2 acre overlooking at 10 acre goat farm with a mountain view. A local person bought 3 acres and put up 4 houses. Mine is the only one that overlooks the farm.
Problem: The day my driveway was being put in, the old farmer (a native) was having a new wire "goat" fence put in 3 ft. from the driveway--the "developer" told me his old fence (10 ft. over) was my property line. (I should've checked with a surveyor). My house could've been set back 10 ft. had we known. Now getting out of the garage is a chore. But the real killer now is the farmer planted a couple of dozen leyland cypress trees right up to the fence--3 ft. from my driveway and 30 feet from the porch and front of house. In a few yrs. I will lose my view and natural light and feel imprisoned with giants looming close to the house. I'm also concerned that they will grow through the fence and uproot my driveway.
I feel this is spite work: the farmers house is at least 1000 ft downhill from mine and can hardly be seen. I have beautiful landscaping, so it is not a blight. Why fence me in? Every time I sit on my porch, I get sick thinking of what is going to happen to my serenity.
There are no zoning laws in my area--I'm nr. Asheville, NC, but in the county. I feel I have to give up my dreams and move. Any suggestions out there? Thanks much


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

Remind the farmer (in writing, politely) that at the first sign of root invasion or overhanging branches, you will be 'forced' to cut the branches at the propty line and the roots. Suggest you both sit down and discuss things decently (invite him for coffee?) and bring up the issues you mentioned like the view, light, his house being far away, etc. If he doesn't cooperate, get a lawyer.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

Now is the time to be sure where the property line is located. Those things grow very fast, get 60 feet tall and die easily. If on his property, not much to do about it now. I know of a case where a property owner (man) received a call about his property located about 20 miles from where he actually lived. The adjoining property owner (woman) wished to put in Leyland Cypress on her property and just wanted to be sure that it was OK with the adjoining owner. The man, trying to be a nice guy, told her (on the phone) to put anything she wished on her property, but not to stray onto his property. She assured him that she would not. She planted all of them on his side of the line and sold her property. He discovered this after she was gone. Removal and disposal is now his problem.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

We've got a row of 35 Leyland cypresses planted by the previous owner (as in your case, too close to the adjacent property). I haven't seen any surface roots that could pick up a driveway, so I don't think you have to worry about that. About the size, we learned too late that they can be kept under control with regular shearing. Of course that's a lot of recurring work, and you probably aren't able to shear the tops to control the height. But you can control their intrusion onto your property.

There's probably nothing a lawyer can do for you, unless your locality has some kind of view protection or light protection ordinances, which aren't common.

Giving up and moving would be an over-reaction, I think.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

Thanks for the feedback, folks. Lucy's idea is the logical one, but last year, when goat farmer mentioned he was going to put in leyland cypress to "make his yard look purty," I expressed concern about putting them along the front of my house. So he got the message. He also went to great expense to have another wire fence constructed on the other side of the trees so that the goats couldn't get to them.
But it wouldn't hurt to write a note warning him of the consequences of intrusive growth. Our zoning laws are nil around here in the county. I'm wondering if a lawyer would be able to help. Any lawyers out there?

The man is a nut. He is always tampering with my mailbox and garbage pail. I have found pizza boxes (not mine) and garbage (not mine) stuffed into my mailbox a few times, not to mention pushing my garbage pail and bags over to the other side of my driveway. He even threw my "private driveway" sign in my garbage pail.

By the way, he planted these trees in front of existing deciduous trees and bushes which are already high enough to block any view --but I don't mind these as they are not compact and allow light and space to see our beautiful views. I'm hoping the roots from these plants will choke out the growth of the monster leylands.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

"The man is a nut. He is always tampering with my mailbox and garbage pail. I have found pizza boxes (not mine) and garbage (not mine) stuffed into my mailbox a few times, not to mention pushing my garbage pail and bags over to the other side of my driveway. He even threw my "private driveway" sign in my garbage pail."

this is really weird - and some of this is considered harassment and possible vandalism under the laws - please keep a log of these happenings and take photos of any questionable behaviors. If you "get into it" with your neighbor ever or have to take any legal action - you have documentation of erratic behavior.

You have the right to trim any branches of his trees that grow over your line - up to the mutual lot line (not OVER). I did this to my neighbors spruce tree that is planted 1 foot away from our lot line when we had to put a fence in - only the 3 or so branches that were lowest because the fence could not be installed unless we trimmed them. And the neighbor took it VERY personally - so warning - if your neighbor is weird - he may have a problem when you trim his bushes - but that's just too bad for them.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

"And the neighbor took it VERY personally - so warning - if your neighbor is weird - he may have a problem when you trim his bushes - but that's just too bad for them."

You gotta love it - but, it's OK for him to plant the trees so they grow into *your* yard. I've been there with the same type of neighbour - you do something to stop their wrong, and you're the bad guy.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

On a somewhat related note, I assume that Leyland Cypress would run easily through a brush shredder. They look big and imposing, but really not much substance to them. Anyone know for sure?


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

Gosh, how mean can people be? It's not like a condo development is intruding on his 10 acres.

What is a brush shredder?
I was thinking of dousing them with concentrated salt water, a "natural" killer.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

It's not about zoning laws - your property is your property no matter where you live, it would only be a factor if you wanted to raise camels or something in an area not zoned for farming or whatever. BTW, I'd be careful about using salt as that would kill the entire tree - and then you'd be on the hook for all his trees.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

i think the title of this thread says it all, he planted them on HIS property. he has just as much right to use HIS PROPERTY as YOU do to use YOURS.

trim any branches that cross the property line and you will be fine. if you still hit the trees, then you are driving on his property and he rightfully should require that you stop doing so.

maybe HE does not want to see YOUR HOUSE. so what if it blocks your view. it is his property.

i heard a new name the other day on another board, and i feel it fits this situation. CITIOT.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

Yep, they're delicate for their size. We had some removed last year (so in fact we have less than 35 now), and my wife says the tree service people put some of the trunks into the chipper.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

Thank you all for your feedback; unfortunately, it seems "davidandkasie" must be on the "other" side of the fence. The farmer has 10 acres. (I have 1/2 acre) His house is a good city block from my house and down the hill. Yes, legally he can do whatever he wants. We are talking "morally" now. There are some areas in this country and especially England where it is illegal to block a persons light, air and natural view.
I am 70 yrs. old; my husband has emphysema and it isn't easy for us to take care of our own garden, never mind to cut the branches that will grow through the fence and onto our driveway. We will just have to move out of what I thought would be our final house. I put the For Sale sign up yesterday.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

Leyland cypresses don't have thorns, they aren't poisonous, they don't have surface roots, they don't smell bad, they don't drop nasty fruits. Your neighbor could have picked a much worse plant if he was really out to get you. Where are you going to find a troubleproof place to live, if you sell this otherwise perfect home? Judging from the multitude of problems you can read about on this site (neighbor problems, water problems, crime problems, mold problems, etc.), I'll bet lots of people would gladly trade places with you. I'm not defending your neighbor, just suggesting you get a little perspective.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

Rena911

Firstly, you did *not* buy a 10-acre goat farm of your very own. That farm belongs to someone else and he can do whatever he pleases with it. *You* bought a 1/2 acre homesite. That's all you get. You do not get to determine what happens to the 10 acre farm. You have no "rights" to preserve your view. Are you capable of understanding this concept??? The farm is not yours.

Here's what really happened with the new wire goat fence and the trees: The farmer saw that the lot next to him had been sold and someone was erecting a house on it, along with a driveway. He notices that grading work is being done very close to his boundary (which is *not* the same as the original fence). He is concerned that the original fence can be mistaken for the boundary by any rube who is foolish enough to not get a survey. So he builds a new fence along the *real* boundary to prevent the new homeowner from encroaching on *his* property. He also plants the cypress trees on *his* side of the line to sheild his view from the new homesite. Maybe he doesn't like the view of all the new homes being built where farmland once existed. Sounds like a perfectly reasonable neighbor to me. Lots of other threads stress the importance of protecting your propert line against encroachment by new neighbors. There are also countless threads stessing the importance of getting a survey before siting your house and your driveway. You simply didn't do that. Now you want to find a way of blaming the neighbor for your troubles.

And Rena911, you are not allowed to kill trees that are legally planted on your neighbors yard. Even suggesting that action prevents me from having any sympathy for your case. The farmer is not the spiteful one here, *you* are.

Selling and moving sounds like an over reaction to me, but then, it sounds like over reaction is not foreign to you.

Good luck in finding a place where no one will ever do one single thing that disturbs you. You're gonna need waaaaaay more than a half acre for that.

Ok, now how about an actual useful suggestion. Approach the neighbor and admit that your house and driveway are poorly located because you and the developer misunderstood where the property line was. See if he is willing to sell you 10 feet or so along that boundary line. Offer to replant a screen that is 6 or 8 feet farther away from your driveway than the current one is. Doesn't sound like much, but that extra few feet will keep the branches from getting in your way, and will keep you from feeling hemmed in.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

chapnc, how very interesting that one of your many talents is reading people's minds. And we know you have the ability to do this because you know the why, when and where of the reasons the farmer erected the fence and planted the trees.

I'm curious, is this the personality you display in real life? From reading your posts in other threads you seem to be angry all of the time. Chill out, man. Life is way too short to spend it being angry at the world.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

I'm just pointing out that there are 2 sides to this story. "Davidandkasie" defended the farmers property rights, and he was dismissed by the OP as being "on the other side of the fence". She didn't seriously consider his post as being at all relevant.

I'm not angry, I'm actually trying to be objective. The OP has a problem, but it's a small problem in the grand scheme of things. The farmer is a property owner too.

The OP made the mistake of not getting an accurate survey. She simply can't make the farmer put the fence and the trees where *she* wants them to be. Is that hard to understand? Does that really make me come across as being angry all the time?


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

I did get a survey, but the "developer" told us the property line was the old fence and I was naive enough to believe him. So therefore we lost ten ft. of what I thought was our property. Had we known, the house could've easily been put back 10 ft. And if the farmer were a caring person, he would've come over and told us that he was planning to do this and this would've saved a lot of heartache.

You know, you people who are dissing me, I think if the show were on the other foot, you wouldn't want to be closed in by 60 ft. trees blocking your light, would you? You can barely see my house from his house. I will send you a photo. And, to make it even more weird, there are already tall trees that block the house.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

rena911 wrote: "I am 70 yrs. old; my husband has emphysema and it isn't easy for us to take care of our own garden, never mind to cut the branches that will grow through the fence and onto our driveway. We will just have to move out of what I thought would be our final house. I put the For Sale sign up yesterday."

I don't blame you for moving. I wouldn't want to have to deal with this kind of crap in my golden years either. You only have a 1/2 acre, the farmer has 10, yet he wants to cut off what little view you have? What a JERK.

"The man is a nut. He is always tampering with my mailbox and garbage pail. I have found pizza boxes (not mine) and garbage (not mine) stuffed into my mailbox a few times, not to mention pushing my garbage pail and bags over to the other side of my driveway. He even threw my "private driveway" sign in my garbage pail."

I would be taking pics and documenting each time he vandalizes or tresspasses on YOUR property. Especially the mailbox. Tampering with the US mail is a FEDERAL OFFENSE. I would buy one of those outdoor security cameras and set it up so I could catch him in the act and report him. I would not confront this person directly. He has already proven he will not act reasonably. Try to sell your house to someone who will be able to stand up to this guy. Preferably, someone who likes a view, and is willing to do whatever is "necessary" to get it! ;)

Links that might be useful:

Protecting Yourself From Mailbox Vandalism
www.usps.com/postalinspectors/smashbox.htm

10-minute setup Security Camera
www.x10.com/homepage.htm


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

chapnc,we can't hear the tone of your voice as you speak on these threads, but *you* are jabbing a finger in our faces when you post this way. You do *not* appear to be speaking in an objective manner by doing this. It's not your words or the position you take that makes me feel you're angry, it's the way you insert the words.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

I'm glad chapnc is not my neighbor; he must be great to live next door to. Fyi, Chap, I believe people on these forums are looking for help and support, not to be "attacked." And how dare you make references to my state of mind, such as my not being capable of being happy anywhere. Just to let you know, In all of my 70 yrs. of living in different places, I NEVER had a problem with a neighbor. So, please, just bug off and get a life.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

rena: don't worry about that poster, it is called a "troll" in internetland...

Good luck with your difficult situation!


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

rena911

I see you just joined July 15. Welcome to the GardenWeb forums! There are many good people here. Don't let non-objective posters detract from your experience here.

If you decide to post your pics here, please do NOT use any identifying information that can trace you to your home. I used to post my email address until someone sent spam from this site.

chapnc wrote: "And Rena911, you are not allowed to kill trees that are legally planted on your neighbors yard. Even suggesting that action prevents me from having any sympathy for your case. The farmer is not the spiteful one here, *you* are. Selling and moving sounds like an over reaction to me, but then, it sounds like over reaction is not foreign to you. Are you capable of understanding this concept???"

You said you consider this farmer to be a "perfectly reasonable neighbor". How capable does one have to be to understand the concepts of VANDALISM, FELONY, and HARASSMENT?

How reasonable are people who are ALREADY stuffing trash in their neighbors mailbox, while the OP has only TALKED about pouring salt water on encroaching trees?

The neighbor has done NOTHING to deserve her neighbors abuse except to ask him NOT to plant trees RIGHT ON TOP of her driveway. His house is 1000 feet away, yet he needs to put his trees right where he knows they will eventually grow to be a problem?

If this isn't a "spite" fence, I don't know what is.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

I'm glad I'm not the only one that see's the error of your logic here. You do not own the 10 acres, the farmer can put up the trees on his property. If you want your views back go to the farmer and offer to buy the property. Also, you do not make a very convincing arguement that the farmer is nut when you mention that you are considering killing the trees. I feel bad for you, I really do. Your views are lost, unfortunatley. But ask yourself this, would you rather look at dead cypress trees or living ones- the mountain views are no longer an option.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

Thanks Klim and Dream for your support. I appreciate your welcoming me to this site and tuning in to the real issues of my problem.

As to my detractors, I went through great pains to get a house with
a lovely pastoral view. The neighbor is a multi-generational native of this area and resents newcomers (especially Yankees); it's as simple as that. Is it okay for him to vandalize my mailbox and trespass on my property, fiddling around with my garbage pail, moving my trash bags around and so on? So, okay, "furious" -- oops, "flurious," put your feet in my shoes and what would you do? You'd probably skip the salt and burn his house down.

I'm new to these type of forums and having perused some of the issues, I found most people to be kind and helpful,like most of you here, but I guess they can attract certain types (trolls) that get a sadistic kick out of rubbing salt into wounds that are already oozing.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

"You only have a 1/2 acre, the farmer has 10, yet he wants to cut off what little view you have? What a JERK. "

What does the size of the property have to do with anything?


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

I think she was just trying to make the point that he could have made a neighborly choice about the trees' placement, etc., knowing she had very few options on a property that small (relative to his). Don't you ever say possibly illogical sounding things if you're upset? She may not be completely right (or wrong) about her complaint, but that doesn't mean things couldn't have been done in a much nicer way by the farmer if he chose to - if the land there thru all those generations without trees marking the propt'y there, why did he suddenly feel the need to put them in there right then? To me it seems a lot like gleeful spite - and I know what the 'country' version of that feels like first hand too.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

--Last year I moved into a beautiful stick-built modular, --

Is there such a thing? Houses are either stick-built or they are modular.

--the "developer" told me his old fence (10 ft. over) was my property line. (I should've checked with a surveyor).--
--I did get a survey, but the "developer" told us the property line was the old fence and I was naive enough to believe him. --

If you've got a survey the lot lines could be marked with stakes. Some developer telling you that the line is about over there is not a survey.

A lot of inconsistancies here. Is the whole story being told? Is he moving garbage because it is placed on his property? You didn't say he dumped it, just moved to the other side of the drive.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

Well, if the view is really central to your home's appeal, then you could work through a local lawyer to negotiate a view easement. A few thousand dollars might do wonders for the farmer's attitude.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

>hendricus wrote: "You only have a 1/2 acre, the farmer has 10, yet he wants to cut off what little view you have? What a JERK. "
What does the size of the property have to do with anything?

Refer to lucy's post. She hit the nail on the head.

rena911, The area is really growing and some of the natives are not too thrilled with the influx of Yankees. I have family in N.C.. They are near Western Carolina University. It took them years to acclimate, but they hung in there. It helps that they are on a 20 acre parcel. If you were in your 20's or 30's, I'd encourage you to stay and work this situation out. However, you say you are 70 and that your husband has health problems. Unless there are other "non native" neighbors nearby to support you, you can probably continue to look forward to having problems with this particular neighbor. Not a prescription for peaceful retirement.

I think you are right to consider cutting your losses and selling while you still have the time (and your health) and before the trees block the view.

Links that might be useful:
www.ruralize.com/
www.city-data.com/forum/north-carolina/93553-where-retire.html


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

>>The man is a nut. He is always tampering with my mailbox and garbage pail. I have found pizza boxes (not mine) and garbage (not mine) stuffed into my mailbox a few times, not to mention pushing my garbage pail and bags over to the other side of my driveway. He even threw my "private driveway" sign in my garbage pail.<<

Did you actually see him do this? We live in a fairly rural area with a long driveway and cannot see our mailbox or garbage cans from the house. And, the cans sometimes get moved by the collectors or a neighbor kid. Mailboxes get smashed with golf clubs and Stop signs get shot at. Beer cans in the ditch (we do not drink) do not necessarily come from neighbors because it also devalues their property. Not directed at us in particular, just kids causing trouble. Without proof, are you positive that he is the one stuffing trash into your mailbox? And, is it really a problem that your trash can is on one side of the drive or the other?

You seem to lash out at any comment that does not trash your neighbor or comfort you. You dismiss any legal comments and threaten to use salt water, and yet you take offense when realistic suggestions are made.

Kudos to the 82 year old man strong and spry enough to plant a bunch of leylands. Hope I can do that at 82!


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

i am not trying to be a troll. i was simply pointing out that you have no say over what he does on his property. is it your faulot the line is not where you thought, quite frankly yes it is. you NEVER buy property without a survey. my first 2 acres i bought we found out the neighbor's dog pen was over the line by about a foot. he offered to move it the day the survey was done, but we just put it in writing that i would lease that small area to him for 1 dollar a year until the fence was replaced due to age. we were both fine with that. if i had not had the survey, but instead went by what he and the realtor told me, i could have lost that land to him within a few years.

i am sorry you are going thru this, regardless of age this is hell on anyone. but you have to decide if you can live with teh trees, try to buy 10 or so feet from him, or if you wish to move.

as someone else said, are you 100000% sure he is the one fooling wiht your trash and mail box? it could be kids. it may be him, i cannot say, but then again it may not.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

Buying 10 feet of land wouldn't protect the view, which a view easement could presumably be crafted to do. And an easement would allow the farmer to retain ownership and use of the land, which may have great emotional if not practical importance to him.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

I think a view easement is a great idea, and since the farmer was there first, does he get the view easement?


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

I would love to buy the 10 ft. of land, but he is not open to it. There was a survey done, but I "trusted" the developer and didn't check out the pins. It was probably an honest mistake on his part, as he was new at this, as was I. I spoke to my real estate attorney; he doubts that anything can be done as there are no zoning laws out here in the county.

Yes, the neighbor has admitted to moving my garbage. I only have one pail and there is only one level place to put it which is on MY property. The one time I put out 2 bags of lawn garbage the day before collection, he threw them in the woods; I put them back and they were thrown in the woods again. That's when I confronted him, and he said he was afraid that animals would attack the bags. Most of my garbage I take to town to a recyling center as I try to be environmentally conscious. I cannot prove it, but I'm sure it was he that put the trash and pizza box in my mailbox.

I think Dreamgarden understands what's happening and she's correct; I don't have any allies out here in the wilderness. I will cut my losses and sell next spring, difficult as it is to move again.

But thanks all for your feedback. Some of the advice was good, but not feasible. If there are any attorneys out there who know this area and think I have a leg to stand on, I will gladly welcome your feedback.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

To all: I can see monablair's point in her observation about my writing style; I've over-used the asterisks in order to stress my words. She's right about it coming across as jabbing my finger in someone's face. I apologize for that and I will tone it down in future.

And I don't want to be misuderstood as defending the farmer's actions where he appears to be vandalizing rena911's property. That is inexcusable.

The rest of my post, however, I defend. Rena911 had a nice view when she bought the property and built her house, but nothing gaurantees that the view will be permanent. From the establised resident's point of view, the new houses being built on what was once farmland constitutes a major change to the landscape and the existing views. That in no way justifies their animosity, they should either find a way to welcome you, or they should avoid you and leave you alone. The farmer is entitled to plant trees on his own property to screen his view from the new houses.

Her garage and driveway are too close to the actual property line because she made the mistake of not getting a survey. Regretable, but it's her mistake, not the farmer's.

Rena911, you mention the the new trees are 30 feet from your porch and block your view. Is it possible to build a patio or porch off the back (or other side) of the house or property? Surely this cannot be the only pleasant view from your lot. I'm a North Carolina native and I love the Carolina mountains and foothills. There are pleasant veiws in all directions. How about a wrap-around porch that goes all the way around your house?

I am sorry that these events have robbed you of your view, but you simply cannot vilify the farmer for planting trees on his own property. You cannot kill them. If you do, then you have not only broken the law, you'll have to look at a line of dead cypress trees. They don't evaporate into thin air when they die, they just turn brown and stand there.

Thinking back, there is one more thing I should apologize for. I made a snide remark about you being prone to over-reacting, and I apologize for that. To me, it seems like an over-reaction, but I can see that you are distressed about not being able to enjoy your lot. If you truely have no enjoyment being there, then by all means move and find somewhere where you *can* be happy.

Years and years ago when I bought my very first house, I was lucky enough to find a development where the developer had preserved many mature trees, and my house, on a cul-de-sac, was backed up by deep woods. I enjoyed that view for almost 12 years. Then one day, I heard what was unmistakably earth-moving equipment back in those woods. I stood in my own back yard in horror as I saw some giant forestry equipment stipping down every single living tree in its path. In just two days, acres had been reduced to a red-clay mudfield. The owner of that property had finally decided to sell it for development. I wasn't mad at him for doing that, I had no right to be. It was his property. I did, however, lose the enjoyment of my view and I decided right then and there to sell and move out. Perhaps moving out is your best course of action, perhaps not. That is for you to decide.

And rena911, I consider myself to be a good neighbor. I am friends with neighbors on both sides. Last spring, my neighbor on one side saw me outside doing yardwork and motioned me over. He was planning on planting shrubs along the property line as a screen, and he wanted me to know and wanted both of us to find the boundary markers so there wouldn't be any misunderstanding. The pins were clearly marked, and I had no problem with his choice of plants or location. It actually saved me from having to do my own plantings. My neighbors on the other side are actually so close that we are planning our back-yard improvements together, so that there will be a walk-way between our two yards. That way, they can come down and join me on the back deck for evening cocktails without having to go to the front door.

Maybe I'm having such a hard time posting in these "bad neighbor" threads because I'm in the unusual position of both being, and having, a good neighbor.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

ChapNC: I appreciate your sentiments but you still don't totally understand. A picture tells a thousand words and I wish I could figure out how to get one onto this site.

If I were younger and we were in better health, moving again would not be such a burden. I'm not sure if you read the details of my last post: a survey was done--but having never had a house built before, I was naive and believed that the existing fence was the property line. Next time I'll be more savvy and check the pins--but there won't be a next time.

I can understand the people who have been living here for generations being upset at all the developments coming in. I, myself, object to them, especially the ones built on steep slopes,intruding on the landscape. But many farmers cashed in and sold their land off to developers who are putting condos and million dollar homes everywhere, driving out many of the working class people who cannot afford to live in these beautiful mtns. any more. It's a vicious cycle. People get greedy, sell their land; housing costs escalate, more rich people move in; the farmers and working class can't afford the taxes, so they sell out; resentment is everywhere. Even relative newcomers like me--I've been here about 6 yrs.== don't like the changes, so I can imagine how the natives feel.

As far as my neighbor, the land where my house was built had been a small piece of flat land with scrubby pines. Four houses were built on 3 acres and mine is the only one that can be seen. Two of the others face my backyard--the third is facing another street. And, as I said, his house is at least 1000 feet over and down hill from mine and he has plenty of trees shrouding my lot already. He planted the Leylands right in front of the various types of existing trees. I wish I could figure out how to send a photo.

Anyway, enough is enough; I want to be at peace and not dwell on this any longer. In the spring, I will sell the place. It's too much work for me anyway, as my husband is ill and cannot do much.

Thanks all for your input.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

rena, if you want to send me an email with one or a few photos attached, I will post it here for you. Click on my ID, then click on "Send me an email". Hopefully it will work, sometimes I don't get emails through this site lately. (Post here and let me know if you decide to send me an email with a photo, so I know it if came through OK or not?)

Or, if you prefer, check the link below, someone asked awhile ago for help on how to post a photo and I typed out some instructions. Hopefully they are easy to understand ;)

Here is a link that might be useful: How To Post A Photo


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

"chapnc - The farmer is entitled to plant trees on his own property to screen his view from the new houses."

I have to agree with this statement; however, any neighbour who wishes to project good will towards his other neighbour would never plant Leyland cypresses 3 ft. away from the property line because eventually (sooner, rather than later with Leylands) the trees *will* cross over the line onto the neighbouring property. This is wrong, and the land owner is not being a good neighbour. It seems to be a blatant, intentional thing where the land owner has a huge amount of property; but is trying to put the squeeze on the OP. If he wanted a screen, why not plant the trees farther away from the property line so that they would never encroach on someone else? But, I agree, also, Rena911 cant kill the trees because that would also be wrong. Doesnt sound like shes about to go out there and do anything rash anyway. : )

And yes; I also agree it was a mistake not being sure of the property lines when buying the land, and building the house. But theres nothing anyone can do about that now. Im sure Rena911 was probably content until the soon-to-be monster trees were planted, and are now threatening to eat her driveway and house. I feel for you, Rena911; Ive had inconsiderate neighbours, myself. Chapnc youre very lucky to have good neighbours bad neighbours can make for very stressful daily living.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

"People get greedy, sell their land; housing costs escalate, more rich people move in; the farmers and working class can't afford the taxes, so they sell out; resentment is everywhere"

You really need to watch what you say, your resentment is spilling out. Assuming that the only reason to sell the land is greedy people. How about the farmer that can no longer make a living farming and HAS NO CHOICE???


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

i am sorry that you lost your view. but if i were you i would just try to see if there is another good view from one of the other 3 sides of the house.

i still cannot believe that they put the house so close to the line. every home i have seen built has a surveyor lay out the pins for the foundation, and one thing they do is put it X number of feet from the line per the blue prints. i hate to think what else they screwed up on! the surveyor HAD to know how close you really were, as did the developer.

if he is messing with your garbage, get a nice box and put it at the end of the drive to store the garbage in. most around here build them out of 2x4 and chicken wire. some use old fertilizer containers with teh top cut off then hinged back on. i am sure you can find a handyman to build you one cheap. they do not have to be all that spectacular to serve their purpose. at least then he cannot say he is moving it to keep the animals out.

i have never trimmed the limbs back on a Leland cypress. i have cut them off, but never back. i know tha twhen cut off at the trunk they will NOT grow back in. i trimmed one of mine almost 3 years ago and the trunk is just as bare now as it was when i first did it. i cut off all limbs from 8 ft up down to the ground. makes a great shade tree now! you may wish to let the limbs grow out, then cut them off at the property line to see if that does the trick.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

Excuse me, "nycefarm," but I think you should re-read what I said about "people getting greedy." My, my how people misinterpret. I did not say that the farmers were greedy--all I was implying is that it is a no-win, circular situation--that farmers and other working class people were forced to sell their land because they couldn't afford the higher taxes and the cost of living any more. And I guess you can't blame the farmers when these developers come along and offer them mega-bucks to build million dollar houses on the steep slopes that now dot the landscape of much of WNC.

But, for now, I really don't want to defend myself against negative statements from people. Nobody really understands my situation and it was a mistake to put it out there.

Thanks Dreamgarden for trying to help with the photos. I was trying to figure out how to post a photo from the website you gave me. That would have told it all.

I really wonder if some people stalk these forums for the purpose of getting some kind of malicious joy out of needling people who are already in pain.

So, folks, I'm saying thanks and goodbye to those of you who were kind and helpful and good luck to those of you who will now have to look for a new victim.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

In my neck of the woods, the people with land ARE the farmers, many of whom can barely make a living at it. So when you say people getting greedy, who else could you be talking about?


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

dee_can wrote: "any neighbour who wishes to project good will towards his other neighbour would never plant Leyland cypresses 3 ft. away from the property line because eventually (sooner, rather than later with Leylands) the trees *will* cross over the line onto the neighbouring property."

Well said.

rena911 wrote: I really wonder if some people stalk these forums for the purpose of getting some kind of malicious joy out of needling people who are already in pain.

There will always be those who think nothing of saying in print, what they would dare not say to your face in person. I also wonder how many of the posters (who are on the farmer's side) would tell their own mother (grandmother) to "grow up or stop overreacting" if their loved ones were being subjected to this kind of abuse. dee_can said it all with her statement "You gotta love it - but, it's OK for him to plant the trees so they grow into *your* yard. I've been there with the same type of neighbour - you do something to stop their wrong, and you're the bad guy."

Rena911 -You AREN'T the "bad guy". Its not YOUR fault that your neighbor is willing to break the law and harass you because he doesn't like your attitude (or origin?). I don't understand those people who are calling YOU up on your supposed transgressions, yet remain mute about the farmer's criminal behavior. I guess being fair only counts when stuff like this ISN'T happening to you.

Bullies only understand one thing, bigger bullies. I would love to read that you sold your property to a pig farmer, pit bull breeder (or bikers with an attitude) and moved to a nicer neighborhood! Let the farmer "feel the joy" of having to deal with someone who is willing (and capable) of putting this guy in his place when he tells THEM they have to let his trees uproot their driveway.

Rena911 wrote: Thanks Dreamgarden for trying to help with the photos. I was trying to figure out how to post a photo from the website you gave me. That would have told it all.

Please give the credit to moonshadow. She is the one who shared it. ;)


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

Dreamgarden, that was really nice of you to acknowledge my infinite wisdom ; ) (just kidding). Really, though, sometimes on the GW I have to wonder if some of the posts are noticed, so I do appreciate your post. And kudos to the nod towards moonshadow.

It's probably human nature to focus on mainly the negative posts - especially when someone is feeling criticized.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

I guess I understand the farmers point of view. We own two houses with ajacent lots. We have neighbors with three bassett hounds. They live in the lot in the middle of the both of them, our rental is on a corner lot and the neighbor lives on one side of it and we the other. They have the tiniest yard on the block. They are chained to different things in their backyard, a tree, which allows them to come into our yard on the chain, a back fence post, which allows them to come into our yard on a chain and the other corner that allows them to go into the other neighbors yard on the other side.

The dogs bark when they see people. I am in my yard a LOT. They bark continually. They get off thier chains and chase us.

Last year I planted a lilac hedge, they were puppies then and I mainly wanted to shield our view from the cars on blocks and the oild cans and they broken down bbq grill(s). This year the dogs grew up and grew into thier big dog voices and attitudes. I planted MORE lilacs and gave them miracle gro. They weren't growing fast enough so I planted more shrubs in front of those. Still not fast enough. One of the dogs got off chain and tried to attack me. We finally put up a privacy fence. I don't care if the neighbors have no view. The dogs bark less and I'm less fearful of going into the yard to garden.

With all that said, there are setback rules. I'm sure the farmer didn't follow them when planting that close to the property line. We went to the city and got a permit for the fence and did ask the neighbor first last year about the lilacs and then this year about the fence.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

blue velvet, not all places have set back rules. for example, in town here only permanent structures larger than 80 sq ft have to be setback. plantings can be on the line if you wish. in the county here, all structures, even portable sheds, and septic systems are required to be setback 50 ft, but again plantings and fences can be on the line.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

Nice sense of entitlement there. You want a view? Buy the neighbor's farm. I'm not generally a spiteful person but if someone decided to build next to our land and didn't seem to care about my property (ie, didn't bother to get a survey before plunking their house down) I'd plant as much, as tall, and as fast as I could.

We're in the farmer's shoes, actually. We bought 10 acres and the existing neighbors (who turned down the opportunity to buy the land for less than we paid) blew a gasket when we decided to build our house in the most natural location on the property, ie, up on the knoll, as opposed to the low swampy corner they hoped we'd build in. They got pretty nasty about it, too, even though our house is going to be 200' inside our property line and theirs (also on 10 acres) is 30' inside theirs.

Guess what we're doing this winter? Leyland Cypress in two staggered rows about 15' and 20' inside our line. If my wife has her way, they're also getting a 6' solid wood fence along all 660' of shared line.

Show some respect and stuff like that is a lot less likely to happen. Frankly, I cannot believe people are siding with you, or suggesting vandalizing other people's property in order for you to keep which isn't yours. Any and all mistakes made in the building of your house have nothing to do with the farmer.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

Seems to me the farmer is very inconsiderate. He has plenty of land and could have planted the trees say ten feet inside the property line where they would never encroach on his neighbors property and still would have plenty of land for his own use. I have a similar problem but worse because my property is only 50 feet wide and neighbors on both sides of me have giant Eucalyptus trees growing two feet from the property line that put my property into almost perpetual shade. The trees on one side are leaning over my property at about a 30 degree angle from vertical, so that all the branches and foliage is actually on my side of the fence, but the base of the clump of trees is on his side. I'm hoping we get a storm and it blows the trees down even though they will crush my fruit trees and demolish the fence when they do go, if ever.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

I'd be very surprised to learn that your local laws are any different from those everywhere else in that any part of a tree that encroaches on your property can be cut back to the property line with no problem. If you choose to put up with the 'extra' (even if the shade is still present if you cut back the branches) then it's your problem alright. You may not be able to do much about the shade, but you also have a right I would think to reasonable enjoyment of your property, and if the eucs (and neighbors, for that matter) came along after you'd been there for any length of time, you might have a case on that basis as well.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

lucy, californian uses every tree thread to complain about his neighbors, yet he won't ACTUALLY do anything about it. he has been told numerous times tha the can cut the trees back himself, but thinks his neighbors should have to do it. i bet those trees were there before he was, and he bought the place anyway.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

I can sympathize with both sides of this dilemma. I truly think the farmer's anxiety and spite stems from the fact that the house was built so close to his property line---and he probably feels it was intentional, even though it wasn't. It doesn't matter that he has so much land---he's stressing because he thinks there was plenty of room on the 1/2 acre to give a cushion of space that wasn't given. On the other hand, the punitive act of planting huge trees that are sure to mess with maintenance on Rena's property was unkind and unnecessary. My real bone of contention would be with the surveyor or developer who executed the false sale of goods. The mailbox and garbage vandalism is just plain stupid and I'd try to have local law enforcement smack down whomever is responsible for that. It's an intimidation tactic that should not be tolerated---someone needs to get a fine and scare thrown into them for that.
By the way, I feel bad because I stacked a cord of fire wood right on my side of the property line with a next door neighbor. At the time, my intention was to put it on the most level ground and also to block a broken down chain link fence on an adjacent neighbor's property. But then I started thinking about the fact that I put that wood so close to my next door neighbor's yard line. He hasn't complained about it so maybe he doesn't care, and it's a pile of huge wood that took two days to erect, on top of cinder blocks that were put down first---not at all easy to move a few feet. Still, if I could do it over, I'd leave some breathing space. I might mention it to him and if he expresses that it's closer than he'd like it to be, I'll move it. Sure, it's my property, but inches from his and I could see why some people would think this is a first stop to encroachment. I want to be a good neighbor and this guy has been a good neighbor to me. I'm lucky to have nice people on both sides and across the street. It's all about understanding the other persons point of view.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

I sympathize with both sides, but I tend to have slightly more sympathy for the farmer. He was there first. Consider that his nice views were taken away too when rena911 moved in. Consider that rena911 moved in and plunked down a house and a driveway with no apparent care for the boundary lines. (Relax and look at it from his point of view.)

I doubt that local law enforcement will "smack down" anyone though. The location of your trash on the street is simply not in the constitution or the bill of rights. And if they did, it would only make for more bad blood between both sides.

Yes, the farmer is also being a bit stupid/childish here. But neither side is trying to resolve this feud. So rather than try, rena911 will sell her house, incurring significant costs. Proud, stubborn people can do silly things.

I will say that it matters not where you go, you will always have neighbors. You can try to work with them, be friendly, be thoughtful of their feelings, or you can keep on moving until you find someplace with no neighbors. Is there an open spot on the space shuttle?

John


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

Angelom - how would a wood pile affect your neighbours? Sounds like you're being SO nice, but I don't see the need to move inanimate objects, especially if they're not blocking the view.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

Lucy: Funny you mention it. I spoke to the guy this morning (we're both in the process of having screened porches/decks built by the same contractor). He had no issue with the wood pile and remembered the damaged chain link fence behind it and I think he agreed the wood pile looks nicer! I guess my concern was that he and his wife might feel that with all the property I have, why put the wood pile so close the the line? Why not leave "easement" of a few feet? But I guess I was worried about nothing. I told him he's welcome to the wood too----though he seems to have his own big stash of cut wood.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

We have an obnoxious neighbor who is like a feudal lord. He has clean cut his entire yard and put up a fence, despite the homeowners assoc. rules about leaving a natural buffer. Everything he cut down, he tossed into a natural water preserved area next to his lot. Before we moved into our new house, he pulled up the surveyor (iron) ground stakes (4 times and they had to be re-surveyed!), and even clean cut an 8 x 30' swath of our rear yard and woods, that we painstakingly had to replant. Now, he got signatures of all the surrounding neighbors to put up Green Giant thujas on his lot, without even notifying us. We are the only yard impacted by him planting these trees - they would be between our houses. He only has an 11'wide side yard, and ours is 16'. The trees grow 60' tall and 20' wide. Along that side is his driveway--you can't tell me he will plant that type of tree along his driveway. We will definitely have major encroachment. I'd appreciate your feedback, as we have to go to a homeowner's meeting and defend ourselves. Thanks!


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

swanksternc, simple, cut his branches off at the property line. if he don't like it, tuff. explain this at your HOA meeting, it is your legal right to trim any vegetation on your property, so if his trees encroach you will keep them trimmed back.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

You go swanksternc! Cut his trees down!


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

Use the advice above - you have every right to trim overhanging branches, as long as what you do doesn't kill the trees

"Before we moved into our new house, he pulled up the surveyor (iron) ground stakes (4 times and they had to be re-surveyed!),"

and

"clean cut an 8 x 30' swath of our rear yard and woods, that we painstakingly had to replant" This trespassing and destruction of private property!!

This is ALL VERY illegal. I recommend putting in no trespassing signs on every side of your yard. You cannot prosecute for no trespassing unless you have signs. DO IT asap!

Please report this stuff to the police as it occurs. Even if you can't prove he did it, it is on record that it is done. Sounds likje You have an irrational NFH, (neighbor from h***) and that means you must document every incidence that you have involving him. Just in case you ever need to deal with him in courts of law, or have to involve law enforcement.

Do not cut your NFH any slack - let him know you will not tolerate this. However, do not confront him directly unless necessary. You may say something that you may regret as NFH will twist your words.

Good luck!


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

You cannot prosecute for no trespassing unless you have signs. DO IT asap!

this is true in most areas, but not all. in my area ALL land is posted no trespassing by law. you do not need signs up to prosecute. you DO have to call the cops while they are there though, or provide video proof of the intrusion.

i agree, document EVERYTHING and report it to the proper authorities.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

Pulling survey monuments is a crime in every jurisdiction I have looked in.
The wooden stakes are NOT monuments, but steel rods, steel pipes, lead pipes, etc. ARE.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

Spray the Leyland Cypress trees with some kind of super RoundUp or something..just make sure nobody sees you do it. How could they prove you did it? :-)


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

Please, don't suggest that she commit illegal acts.

Besides, it won't work that well anyway. Lets see. The vindictive old guy suddenly sees all of his trees die off, maybe the grass around them too. He knows that the only person who would profit from it is this neighbor who has been feuding about those trees for the last couple of years. So the next act of vindictive old guy is to put in an ugly metal privacy fence 10 feet high. Or perhaps he decides this is the spot to establish that junkyard he has always wanted to find a spot for. So a pile of rusted tractors and farm implements suddenly appear in that corner of his property, and maybe a junked car or two. He might even replant those trees on his side of the junk, so he does not need to look at it.

Even if nobody can prove that you did it, the vindictive, pissed off old guy knows who did it. Doing something stupid will only escalate the fight.

John


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

If he has goats, they will probably find a way to eat the Leyland saplings and your problem will be solved. I've never found a "goat proof" fence. It might be that he put up the fence and planted the trees to create a barrier between you and his livestock. Too often, "city folks" move in next to an existing livestock operation and then begin to complain about the smell and noise of the livestock.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

"Thanks Dreamgarden for trying to help with the photos. I was trying to figure out how to post a photo from the website you gave me. That would have told it all."

Yes, it would.

I'm finding it abit odd that you decided to drop out of the conversation when the ability to post photos presented itself. It makes it sound almost as if you were exaggerating the whole situation to start with.

No fair to stir us all up then back out when it comes to posting the photos :)
It's not too late and many of us would enjoy seeing them.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

I'm finding it abit odd that you decided to drop out of the conversation when the ability to post photos presented itself.

i don't find it odd. i refuse to post photos on this or any other site that requires i first upload them to another site. why, well it is just too much trouble. yes, i have full ability to do it. but NO i have no desire to setup a photobucket or any other photo hosting site account.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

Sawdust maker and wireweiners have very valid points. While mistakes were made, ultimately, it is the homeowners responsibility to ensure she is not encroaching. Her neighbor planted the trees three feet from the property line. He is free to do so, unforunately. Could the OP possibly move her drive to the other side of the house?

As for obnoxious newcomers, one of them married into my family. Donnie is a first-class jerk, and boasts how he planted trees to block his view of my mom's place and my uncle's as well. They didn't mind, as it also blocks their view! That which goes around, comes around.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

Being 75 myself and moving from the west coast to mid west, it has been an interesting move. It is a culture thing, because you never get quite accepted. Even the younger people born here have minor problems, unless grandma/grandpa were born here.
Sounds like you have not bought rural propery before, so my suggestion is sell and find a rural retirement area you would feel more confortable with. It also sounds like you cannot do much yourself, and believe me with my DH needing alot of medical help, I am grateful for my new friends that help me out. But then we lived in a rural area in CA and got help also. Cut your losses and find a new area where there will be less stress. After all, you will need help at your age no matter where you live. PS Snow is good especially when I have a young person willing to shovel because at my age, I can, but should not. Driving on ice and snow is so intersting.


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

You may not be able to do much in regards to the trees, but you can nail him if he has been putting things in your mailbox. Get pics of him messing around your mailbox file a complaint. They are FEDERAL PROPERTY.
Can you locate the corners of your property. If you bought from the developer,he had to get a survey inorder to sub-divide the land. Look at your deed. The old goat may have planted those trees on your property, or else the developer has some explaining to do.
Its been 10 months since your post, what has transpired?


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RE: Neighbor Planted Leyland Cypress 3 ft. from my Property

Bump.


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