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My neighbor thinks I should move my garden!

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My neighbor thinks I should move my garden!

Post  Triciasgarden on 6/16/2013, 5:39 pm

I was out in my garden yesterday, cleaning it up, pouring boiling water over ants several times so I could make a new bed the newer sfg way, pulling weeds and making an area for a leaf cage. The wind had blown down, from my next door neighbors willow tree, lots of smaller branches and a two foot piece of dead branch into my garden and I was cleaning that up also. Luckily the dead branch didn't land on any of my plants.

Above my garden is an area of dead branches, hanging from the willow tree, I have told my next door neighbor about for a few years. She was out pulling weeds out of her dirt back yard and I called a hello to her and commented about how fun it is to pull weeds. Then I asked her if I could show her something about her tree. She would not even come over so I could show her the dead branches hanging over my yard. So I decided to remind her about the dead branches and she did a childish moving her head back and forth like a mocking child. My thoughts were, this lady of 50+ years is supposed to be an adult!?

She then told me that my bags of leaves (that were donated to me last year and not packed at all) that I have against the joint fence is pushing it over toward her yard and would I move them. The bags have only been there since late fall last year and the fence has been leaning progressively for at least five years. There were no more than two layers touching the fence. I let her know that it is the roots of her tree that is pushing up from under the fence that is breaking it apart. I took a picture of the bags against the fence, dug 2-3 inches down and took pictures of the massive root that is pushing up the fence and took some other pictures of where the fence is leaning. We had a metal fence post with wire around for over four years now, to try to keep the fence from being pushed over by that root. Over the years I have had to dig out the roots of the willow in my garden. I used to do the row gardening and when I would rototill or use my cultivator, it would bounce against the roots dangerously. They were not very deep. Even when making a sfg bed, as I was leveling out the ground, a root was interfering and we had to chop it out.

I also made the fence area for the leaves and emptied all the bags into it. I planned on doing it anyway yesterday but I made sure I finished the job completely.

Ok, back to the topic listed. My neighbor, in her logic, thinks I should move my garden because her tree was mis-planted too close to the property line! She said the tree has been there 40 years. Her house has not even been there 30 years and she has been there 17. Before that it was farm land. I have lived in my house 23 years and the man before her planted the tree maybe a year or so before we moved in. It was maybe 10-15 feet tall then. When my former neighbor was replacing the connecting fence before he sold his house, he told me he didn't realize it could grow so big. I told her the tree has not been there 40 years and when I started my garden, the tree was not hanging over the fence at all. I started my garden in that area probably 21-22 years ago.

There was also a big willow in her front yard that hung over my yard and dropped branches. She told me several years ago that she was going to remove both. The front yard one didn't bother me and I told her then that the back one was the one that was creating a problem. So she had the front yard one removed! She had the back yard tree pruned about 3-4 years ago and they didn't prune off the dead stuff that was hanging over. We have also, in the past and with her permission, pruned back the big branches that were hanging over my garden in the back yard. She was happy to get the work done for free, even though it was not professional.

This is also one of the neighbors who says she doesn't have any outside cats, but feeds and puts out milk morning and night to outside cats on her front porch, comes searching for her cat in my yard within minutes of her back yard neighbor coming over and threatening me because "they" saw a cat trap in my garden. I have heard her since talking to her cat "buddah" in her back yard and clapping for her cat when she has put food out.

Her husband is an extremely kind person so I will from now on talk to him and ask him to take care of the issues of their weeds only (no grass) yard and the trees.

I won't mention the cats anymore because they had so many chances, and will just quietly trap them if they come into my sfg beds. Last night I finished planting a bed that I just got re-ready a few hours before. So from dusk until this morning when I went out to water, the new bed was dug up and there were two poops buried in basically the same spot! Luckily I have a borrowed trap from animal control. I hadn't seen any new poops for a week so I was reluctant to set the trap with tuna because I didn't want to draw them into my garden area if they weren't coming over anyway. Well they are coming over anyway!

This neighbor has managed to alienate her whole family, the neighbor across the street told her to stay on her own side of the street, and other neighbors have told her to stay off their property.

I have tried to still be a good neighbor and friendly, but I think I will not be sharing any more from my garden. Why reward bad neighborly behavior. I am grateful I have an extremely friendly neighborhood and most of my close neighbors not on that side are very good neighbors.
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Re: My neighbor thinks I should move my garden!

Post  sfg4uKim on 6/16/2013, 6:12 pm

TREE & ROOT LAW

You have every right to trim any tree limbs or roots that come over onto your property so long as you don't kill the tree.


Last edited by sfg4uKim on 6/16/2013, 6:14 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Changed the URL)

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Re: My neighbor thinks I should move my garden!

Post  llama momma on 6/16/2013, 6:16 pm

Oh Tricia, what a shame.  So sorry to hear you are going through this stuff.  It doesn't seem like she is willing to help you, yet is pretty quick to tell you what you should do.
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I agree you should stick to talking to the husband who sounds like the reasonable one..

My neighbor next door has a 3/4 acre pond, 15 ft. deep and one side borders close to the property line next to my barn and it leaks terribly, making our soil soggy -- very soggy around the barn.  Messy to deal with but so far we are all trying to be congenial about the situation, but it's hard. At this point there is no solution.  Tough....
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Re: My neighbor thinks I should move my garden!

Post  mollyhespra on 6/16/2013, 6:40 pm

YIKES!  What an insufferable situation!!!

With 17 abutters around my property, I can certainly relate to how obnoxious some neighbors can be, even in the face of facts, truth or plain ole common sense.  Hang in there!

OH, but before I forget, have you heard of this contraption: the motion-activated "Scarecrow" water sprinkler?  It would probably work against the cats.  I'm thinking that if you trap one, or a few, more will come and it will be a never-ending battle.  

This thing looks like it might "teach" them to stay away, which is what you want.  I almost bought a few to use against all the wild critters but then decided to go with a deer fence instead.  The videos are pretty funny:

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Re: My neighbor thinks I should move my garden!

Post  camprn on 6/16/2013, 7:53 pm

sfg4uKim wrote:TREE & ROOT LAW

You have every right to trim any tree limbs or roots that come over onto your property so long as you don't kill the tree.
+1

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Re: My neighbor thinks I should move my garden!

Post  Triciasgarden on 6/16/2013, 8:18 pm

Thank you Kim, it's nice of you to look that up for me!  I guess it was good that when we chopped out the roots in our yard it didn't kill the tree. Camprn thank you also!

Llama Momma I think your problem is much worse than mine!  That is good you guys are trying to work toward a solution and I hope it can be worked out! That is a huge pond!

Mollyhespra, see I can be grateful I don't have 17 abutters around my property!  I was a legal secretary for many years and so logical thinking is ingrained.  Generally this neighbor reacts to a situation in the wrong way and once in awhile she thinks about it and comes back more logical.  I treated the situation logically and didn't get too worked up about it, mostly.

Two to three of the "cat" neighbors have had ferrel cats fixed and released.  I had no idea how many there were until last year when I caught nine, most of them obviously from the same litter(s).  There is still at least one more from that/those litters and a few others.  When the animal control saw how many I caught, they said that was just way too many for our small area.  After the animal control talked to the next door neighbor (after I had for several years) she took it more seriously and said she would buy two sonic motion activated cat deterrents.  She only bought one.  It stopped working within a short time and she never got another one.  I didn't want the water one because I didn't have the money for it and I didn't want my hose to blow out and create a flood.

See I would think if these people would want their cats to not be a nuisance, wouldn't it be logical to create a "litter box" in their yards?

One thing I was looking forward to is this neighbor bought 3-4 prefab boxes to grow in. Her husband set them up but they haven't been filled yet. I was hoping she would fill them up and start growing so the cats would have their "litter box", lol!

Thank you all for your words of encouragement!
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Re: My neighbor thinks I should move my garden!

Post  sceleste54 on 6/16/2013, 11:48 pm

Love the sprinkler !! Bet that would do a number on trespassing neighbors too !!

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Re: My neighbor thinks I should move my garden!

Post  jazzycat on 6/17/2013, 12:24 am

Tricia I feel for you. It's best to try not to let these kinds of situations with neighbors get out of hand, because you just never know how some people will react. Sometimes it can turn into a feud, and get violent or nasty. I think dealing with the husband is the best bet, or just trim the branches hanging onto your property yourself. If you have to hire someone, send them the bill. And you could always try to get this mediated from a third party, legally.

Anyway. Good luck. It sounds like a very annoying situation.

Oh and remember, about the cats, if you have rats in your area, the feral cats are probably helping keep the population down. Just a thought.

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Re: My neighbor thinks I should move my garden!

Post  brainchasm on 6/17/2013, 12:44 am

I say tell your neighbor to kiss your rosy pink ass the next time she has anything to say...but then, I'm not known for my tact. Just my results.

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Re: My neighbor thinks I should move my garden!

Post  sanderson on 6/17/2013, 2:16 am

Being a Good Neighbor can be very challenging when your neighbor does not reciprocate.  I think that the nice husband of the weird neighbor lady knows what his wife is like.  He may be very reasonable to deal with, but, I bet he has learned to keep domestic peace and can do only so much.

We are on a corner lot in a neighborhood of 6,000 sq ft lots so we only have 2 touching neighbors, the back and one side.  The lots are not big enough for real trees unless there is only one planted in the middle of each back or front yards.  But both neighbors have several trees within 3-10 feet from my fence lines.  Using a tall pvc pipe as a guide, we trim any branch that hangs over the property lines.  I want sunshine!  I have such limited sunshine with their trees.  (three are evergreens and block winter sun)  Plus we have solar panels and one neighbor's tree is now tall enough to impact a section of panels.

Both have one dog and summer breezes remind that they have dogs!!  The doggie patches are right next to the fences by our tiny back patio and our bedroom sliding door!!  Where else??  At least they both pick up poop weekly.  But it should be done daily in the summer.

One has a cat, poor sweet cat.  Skinny, ID collar too tight, battle wound, limps, and isn't neutered.  He wandered the neighborhood for a while, peeing on window screen, garden shoes, containers, doors, anything,  He would poop in my flower beds and leaf piles.  Plus he kept trying to mate with my spayed female and finally started attacking her.  When I called the number on his tag, it turned out to be the neighbor!!  I explained that neutering might make him more socially acceptable, that another neighbor bought a humane trap and planned to take him to the pound.  Well, they kept him inside after that until a couple of weeks ago.  I started noticing Big poop in my general flower beds and when I made a compost cage on that site (after cleaning up), the next morning there was a whooper in the adjacent MM bed!  Flies everywhere.  Two nights ago the cat came in the backyard and I realized it was him, again.  Still skinny, same collar, un-neutered, beaten-up.  I went to talk to the neighbor but the printed notice in the front window announced that they were not answering the front door by personal preference, just to leave a note.  Which I did.  Mistreated cat and poop in my new MM boxes, I had to draw the line.

Picking your battles is the only way to survive in small neighborhoods.  We, in turn, do everything we can not to offend.
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Re: My neighbor thinks I should move my garden!

Post  plantoid on 6/17/2013, 7:54 am

sfg4uKim wrote:TREE & ROOT LAW

You have every right to trim any tree limbs or roots that come over onto your property so long as you don't kill the tree.

We have the same sort of law in the UK but we can do it without out the owners permission so long as we do not cut beyond the fence line . What we must do is return all branches and leaves etc. back to the owner so as not to be accused of stealing .

Can you visualize a four foot pile of that rubbish on her front door step or drive way when she comes back from shopping ? rofl
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Re: My neighbor thinks I should move my garden!

Post  GWN on 6/17/2013, 11:28 am

When we lived in Eugene Oregon we had a massive willow tree that sent off branches over all the neighbours.
We hired a company to come in and trim them.
I was amazed at how they did it.  I think that this is what you should do, ESPECIALLY if that branch is dead. 
Then you could get them to chip it up and have lot of wood chips.

Perhaps do  it when she is on a holiday...Twisted Evil
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Re: My neighbor thinks I should move my garden!

Post  CapeCoddess on 6/17/2013, 11:44 am

plantoid wrote:
sfg4uKim wrote:TREE & ROOT LAW

You have every right to trim any tree limbs or roots that come over onto your property so long as you don't kill the tree.

We have the same sort of law in the UK...What we must do is return all branches and leaves etc. back to the owner so as not to be accused of stealing .

 

I LOVE this law!!! And stick the tree trimming bill on top of the pile. *LOL*

CC
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Re: My neighbor thinks I should move my garden!

Post  No_Such_Reality on 6/17/2013, 12:10 pm

sanderson wrote:
Picking your battles is the only way to survive in small neighborhoods.  We, in turn, do everything we can not to offend.

Sadly, too many people interpret that as being able to push it even further. This is particularly a problem in California and our chronically undersized yards.

One thing I would note, if the OP hires someone to do the trimming, DO NOT leave them the bill. IMHO, instant war.

Also, I'd trim just the dead branches first, to the fence line. Any problem branches, but really try and keep the trimming to a minimum. Hack any problem roots, but don't ditch witch the fence line.

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Re: My neighbor thinks I should move my garden!

Post  gwennifer on 6/17/2013, 12:27 pm

Triciasgarden, I know how disappointing it is when what neighbors decide to do with their own property affect your property.  It's frustrating that there is so little we can do about it.  I hope you at least feel better after getting to talk about it.  very sad

plantoid wrote:...  Can you visualize a four foot pile of that rubbish on her front door step or drive way when she comes back from shopping ? rofl
That's pretty funny!

sanderson wrote:...We are on a corner lot in a neighborhood of 6,000 sq ft lots so we only have 2 touching neighbors, the back and one side.
This is my situation exactly!  I find it difficult to not feel like I'm living in a fishbowl with everyone so close, and did the best I could to plant non-invasive narrow trees (evergreens so they won't drop leaves on the neighbors property) along the adjoining property lines to at least break up the view of the other houses and provide a semblance of privacy.  The people behind me obviously felt the same way and planted a hedge of cypress trees (bye-bye sun when those are full grown, but that's another story).  The people on the side though apparently enjoy being on full view.  I couldn't plant far enough along the fence line on my side to block the view of their deck.  Their house doesn't come back as far on the property as ours so they have room for a tree there, but refused to plant one even when I offered to buy one for them.  There's nothing else I can do but accept their choice and try to move on, but of course I'm reminded of it everytime I'm in my dining room or backyard and have to see them walking around out there, which is nearly daily in the summer.  tongue
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Re: My neighbor thinks I should move my garden!

Post  quiltbea on 6/17/2013, 1:23 pm

sanderson.....Do you have an ASPCA you can call or even animal control and tell them the cat is being abused with tight collar, starvation with bony frame, etc.  Let them deal with your neighbor's cat by taking it away from them and hopefully finding it a better home.
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Re: My neighbor thinks I should move my garden!

Post  donnainzone5 on 6/17/2013, 1:42 pm

Or a local Humane Society? The cat may be ill, and perhaps its humans don't have pet insurance or the cash to care for it properly.
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Re: My neighbor thinks I should move my garden!

Post  sanderson on 6/17/2013, 2:01 pm

Reality,  There is an old saying, "fences make good neighbors."  I would add that decent sized lots make even better neighbors!!  Especially in California!!  High Density populations can be more socially stressed than people who CHOOSE to come together to socialize.

Just noticed that Gwennifer posted.  "Living in a fish bowl" sums it up.  I'm thankful there are no 2-story houses at my end of the block.  I like my morning cup of coffee in my jammies in the back yard.  The cat and I stroll around, enjoying each and every plant, especially now that I am SFG!!  She emulates me by nose-touching every veggie.

When we first moved in years ago, everyone on the sidewalk could see into our backyard.  Husband built an interior redwood lattice privacy fence on 3 sides, one foot within the good-neighbor fence.  Then planted 18 star jasmines every 8 feet.  Eventually privacy.  The BONUS??  Due to development grading, the yard originally sloped sharply to the fence lines. After building the privacy fence (treated 4x4 in cement for posts and as a support wall to contain the dirt), the backyard was level, there was a one foot drainage gutter for rain, the dirt was away from the fence boards, and the jasmine could grow thick.

Photo of the narrow side yard next to the public sidewalk. Taken April 2012 showing the thick jasmine on the redwood lattices.  It's hard to tell but there is a one foot drop off between our privacy retaining wall/lattices and the good neighbor fencing. :


Feb 2013.  Back fence line.  We are in the process of replacing the redwood lattices so the jasmine have been severely pruned:


I'm sorry to vent so much.

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Re: My neighbor thinks I should move my garden!

Post  Triciasgarden on 6/17/2013, 2:13 pm

You guys are all great!  I do think it is important to get along with neighbors and I do try to not be a nuissance myself.  We have a plum tree that I planted that was supposed to be semi-dwarf.  It is full size!  It leans over the fence of the neighbor that lives on the opposite side of my yard.  The neighbors who live there now love having free plums and don't mind the branch hanging over.  They get as many plums as they want and I tell them to come over and get more.  The neighbors before them didn't like the branch or the plums so we trimmed the branch back then.

We have a neighbor directly behind us whose apple tree hangs more on our side than their side.  I don't mind that tree because it doesn't shade my garden and drop branches into my garden.  I do have to pick up dropped apples and sometimes branches, but it doesn't matter.  I have a feeling that when I started my garden the owners moved the apple tree so it wouldn't shade my garden as it grew bigger.  He did move it and I never knew why but last night I realized that he moved it away from my garden.  He was always a great neighbor and has gotten older and now has renters there.  They have been quite nice!

Sanderson I love your idea of the star jasmine! My back yard is visible from the sidewalk and I have been trying to think of an idea to block the view. We have a chainlink fence so the star jasmine would be good if it will be good for my area. I will have to check it out. Your yard looks beautiful!
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Re: My neighbor thinks I should move my garden!

Post  sanderson on 6/17/2013, 3:41 pm

Tricia,  A word of caution about star jasmine.  It needs to be pruned because it can really get thick and run away.  I prune twice a year, in the spring after it blooms [such a sweet orange blossom smell!!], and in the fall right before Trick or Treat.  (Don't want it to snatch up the little kiddies)  Very Happy  I hand prune each runner back to a couple sets of leaves.  Our side walk fence sits back 1 foot from the sidewalk, and the retaining wall/redwood lattice sits inside another 1 foot.  So we have the room to let them grow up the lattice, over both fences and fall over the side walk fence but not interfere with side walk traffic.  I keep the sidewalk side trimmed up to about 2 feet off the ground.  This is California, even "good" neighborhoods can get walk throughs with spray cans or sharp objects "keyed" down the length of the fence.

Northern Utah.  You will have to check with a nursery about winter hardiness.   We only get below 32 degrees a few nights each winter.

I don't recommend using a chain saw like my husband did for 3 years* when I was unable to tackle the job.  The jasmine can get dusty, moldy, cobwebby, and spindly from lack of interior sunlight to where there are no leaves except at the tips.  As it is, I use a hose jar thingy twice a year to wash them down with dish soap, cooking oil and baking soda in a water solution.

*[I had breast cancer while we were renovating 2 old houses, then Mother's care for her last 2 years with advanced dementia and ultimate demise, court overseen conservatorship and administrator, and dissolution of her huge inventory, which included 195, yes 195, sets of china!!, plus both hubby and I being downsized out of our good paying part time jobs.  Thank goodness we were just old enough for SS)

This is a shot of the narrow side yard on the hot West side.  Excuse the box for the new air conditioner and the overgrowth of vines in the photo taken April 2012 when I started to resume my outside garden life.  The vines and trellises help shade the rooms on that side of the house, when the heat is at its worst.  Star jasmine on the redwood lattice on the right side, Bower vines on rebar archways on the left side against the house and a 24 foot long Wisteria along the top rails of the trellis on the upper right.

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Re: My neighbor thinks I should move my garden!

Post  No_Such_Reality on 6/17/2013, 3:58 pm

Is the good neighbor fence chainlink or just low?

I know the previous owner of our place kind of annoyed our neighbors. Our good neighbor fence are those slump rock walls. Apparently he added another two layers, so it's a foot higher than original. It's now top of head height instead of chin height.

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Re: My neighbor thinks I should move my garden!

Post  sanderson on 6/17/2013, 4:03 pm

Is this for Tricia or Sanderson?
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Re: My neighbor thinks I should move my garden!

Post  Yardslave on 6/17/2013, 4:21 pm

I feel for you. I too have had problems with my bat-crap-crazy neighbors. In my state, whatever grows on your side of the fence is yours to maintain as you see fit. My fence and arbors have been set back 1 foot on my property to accommodate a wisteria and a climbing rose. She took it upon herself to cut my wisteria vines and killed them, but left the rose, because she liked it- never asked- just did it! I got so mad I cut all the roses to stumps on my side and terminated her precious pleasant view of MY roses from her side. If any of my fruit trees are inclined to lean over, she's welcome to KISS MY PLUMS!!!
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Re: My neighbor thinks I should move my garden!

Post  No_Such_Reality on 6/17/2013, 4:23 pm

You Sanderson, you have the double fence.

Yardslave, the problem with setting a fence back is that people then assume THEIR property starts at the fence!

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Re: My neighbor thinks I should move my garden!

Post  gwennifer on 6/17/2013, 4:57 pm

Triciasgarden wrote:...I have a feeling that when I started my garden the owners moved the apple tree so it wouldn't shade my garden as it grew bigger.  He did move it and I never knew why but last night I realized that he moved it away from my garden...
This is a lovely thought! I hope it's true. There are kind and wonderful neighbors out there too.
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