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Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
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keithp2012
Jun 25, 2015 10:31 PM CST
My neighbors shrubs are growing over on our property and his landscapers come on our side and cut our grass probably from his shrubs growing wide on our side. See the fence, everything to the right is our property but his shrubs have grown over and we want to cut them. Trouble is I heard some evergreens don't do well and if we end up ruining them he will throw a fit as we don't talk to one another anyway, and he doesn't get the shrubs trimmed he lets them grow.
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Name: Lin
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plantladylin
Jun 26, 2015 6:47 AM CST
I'd check with the local county/city to find out what the ordinances are ... usually you can trim anything encroaching on your property but some cities/states may vary in their laws and your area may have a law against that. Since his landscapers are coming onto your property to mow ... why not just ask them to trim the hedges away from side of the fence? If you do decide to do the trimming yourself, maybe you should take a few before and after (date stamped) photos for your records.
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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jun 26, 2015 8:11 AM CST
What I learned when I lived in southern Connecticut is that if you were to cut the shrubs and if you did it incorrectly and the shrub was ruined/damaged, your neighbor would hold you responsible for the cost of the shrub...replacement cost for a mature shrub is expensive. Even if you cut the shrub correctly, your neighbor could claim you damaged the shrub and take action against you/your parents.

It would be best to talk to the neighbor first and let them know that you would like him or her to cut back the shrubs because they are encroaching into your space. Hopefully the neighbor will comply and peace between neighbors can exists.

If he/she does not comply, then do as @plantladylin suggested and contact your local county/city about ordinances.

Another alternative is to talk directly to your neighbor's landscaper company...not the workers themselves, but the head of the company, and explain the situation. The boss can then give order to the workers to cut back the shrub to the property line. And it would be a good idea to clearly mark the property line so everyone can have a clear picture of exactly where the line is.

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kylaluaz
Jun 26, 2015 8:22 AM CST
Good luck with it! Neighbor issues like this are a real energy drain. I hope you can resolve it peaceably. And I agree with the advice given. Most places, IMO, if the plant is over the property line, you are within your rights to trim it. But check that before cutting because there may be local exceptions like greene mentioned.

And talking to the landscapers is a great idea too.

I also perhaps would just leave well enough alone, unless the overhanging branches are actually in the way of something. From the picture it doesn't seem that they are but of course I can't know for sure as I am not there. Smiling
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purpleinopp
Jun 26, 2015 9:59 AM CST
Whoever planted those shrubs should not be doing landscaping. You are suffering the loss of use of part of your property. Plants should not grow over property lines when houses are as close to each other. Most places have laws to protect people from overgrowth of neighbors' plants, but you do need to work within the laws, whatever they may be. Some places have statutes that say if you use & maintain a piece of land for a certain number of years, it becomes an easement to your property. Doubtful that would happen in that particular location, but could be something to investigate. Clearly your neighbor is growing shrubs over & mowing part of your property, as if it was theirs. It's possible they're not sure where the boundary is, or they just feel responsible to trim around plants who's trunks/roots are on their side of it. Or that the mowing crew made an assumption about mowing on both sides of the hedge. It looks kind of funky, like you started mowing, but didn't finish.

Have you ID'd the shrubs? If they're Leyland Cypress, they could get MUCH wider.
https://i.ytimg.com/vi/kT445amMspY/hqdefault.jpg



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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Jun 26, 2015 10:47 AM CST
Not just Leyland Cypress but also Thuja 'Green Giant' or similar Thuja evergreens (Arborvitae). The cypress and arborvitae get huge, so hopefully that "shrub" is not one of those. By the way, all those trees can be heavily pruned. Electrical companies prune them back constantly to keep them off the lines.

The picture is over a year old and those Green Giant Arborvitae were planted as 8' trees in 2012. Two years later, they are approximately 15' tall and 5' wide, as the picture shows. Today they are almost 20' tall and 6' wide. Next year there will be no spacing at all showing at their base and they will then become the "screen" that I wanted.
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Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
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Zencat
Jun 26, 2015 10:51 AM CST
I think those are Junipers in Keith's picture.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Jun 26, 2015 11:02 AM CST
OK, neither as fast growing nor will get as large. It/they will still be an ongoing problem as it grows. Why would anyone plant a juniper that close to the house and that close to a property line? I guess I know the answer........one who gives no thought to the consequences of what they do is always surprised in the results. Whistling
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
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Weedwhacker
Jun 26, 2015 12:20 PM CST
Actually, since Keith's family and the neighbors don't seem to be on particularly friendly terms, I think I would be quite happy to have those big shrubs in between the yards... Shrug!
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Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
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keithp2012
Jun 26, 2015 12:29 PM CST
purpleinopp said:Whoever planted those shrubs should not be doing landscaping. You are suffering the loss of use of part of your property. Plants should not grow over property lines when houses are as close to each other. Most places have laws to protect people from overgrowth of neighbors' plants, but you do need to work within the laws, whatever they may be. Some places have statutes that say if you use & maintain a piece of land for a certain number of years, it becomes an easement to your property. Doubtful that would happen in that particular location, but could be something to investigate. Clearly your neighbor is growing shrubs over & mowing part of your property, as if it was theirs. It's possible they're not sure where the boundary is, or they just feel responsible to trim around plants who's trunks/roots are on their side of it. Or that the mowing crew made an assumption about mowing on both sides of the hedge. It looks kind of funky, like you started mowing, but didn't finish.

Have you ID'd the shrubs? If they're Leyland Cypress, they could get MUCH wider.
https://i.ytimg.com/vi/kT445amMspY/hqdefault.jpg





They appear to be juniper as they have the blue berries.

Yes our neighbor knows the property line as at the street corner he has white bricks for "his" part of the curb and they match up exactly to the fence location. The Town did the work so I know it's accurate. That's another debate we have on the curb but that's another story...
He did this to spite us and doesn't care he has trespassed on our property in the past and touched our stuff, we have cameras now but that doesn't stop him from telling the landscapers it's ok to go over, that our property is really part of his, he knows it isn't but tells them that as this isn't the first time this occurred! We have spoken up before and he tells them not to listen to us.

And after I just put grass seed down now technically he damaged my work! Grumbling

And that fence, was on our property. We went away for a week and came back and it was torn down and HE had a new one put up saying it's his when our survey says otherwise. We are actually in a lawsuit with the neighbor on the other side who sued us over 2 inches of grass, everyone he is CRAZY and ruining our quality of life, I HATE them and mean it in every way and so do my parents.
They didn't say anything about the fence because it gave us more privacy (until he put those stupid flood lights up all night you see in another thread) but our whole side was torn up and dug up and he never paid to fix the damage. My parents let it go, and I fixed it up myself, but if I owned this house there would of been a law suit by me!

Yes, if we put a fence this would stop the issue and then he would clearly see his shrubs growing over, but he put a stop to us putting one up and threatened us.

I have the neighbors from hell, but being I do the lawn and hate this SOB I might tell my parents call the cops about harassment and take it from there no matter what we do he is going to start with us.

Sorry about the rant but it's still about plants technically lol
[Last edited by keithp2012 - Jun 26, 2015 12:31 PM (+)]
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Jun 26, 2015 1:07 PM CST
Keith, have you ever considered moving? Whistling Life is too short to put up with all the c*** you put up with.
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Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
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keithp2012
Jun 26, 2015 1:34 PM CST
drdawg said:Keith, have you ever considered moving? Whistling Life is too short to put up with all the c*** you put up with.


If I had money I would, my parents don't wanna move so I'm stuck suffering. My life is all stress I don't enjoy much even gardening gets ruined here! :(
[Last edited by keithp2012 - Jun 26, 2015 1:35 PM (+)]
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Jun 26, 2015 1:37 PM CST
Oh, I guess I did not realize it was your patent's home. Don't these obnoxious neighbors bother them as well?
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Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Jun 26, 2015 1:47 PM CST
Happy to lend an ear, or eye as the case may be, to your rant! So sorry you don't have nice neighbors!! It would have been "on" when my fence was taken down. Props to you & your family for trying to be peaceful about it at that point, whether or not it might not seem like the best move in retrospect.

Your options seem to be to start/escalate the legal aspect, move, ignore it, trim it (& make it really ugly on your side, ugh.) The mowing/trespassing thing should be easy, if you can take pics &/or have a cop show up fast enough to see it. I might send the neighbor a certified/registered letter, so you have proof they know their crew shouldn't be mowing your yard and that you've asked them to stop. But, as I'm sure you know, this isn't going to make things any more friendly, at ALL. I think I'd be more concerned about the shrubs, and they are the cause of the trespass-mowing anyway.

If considering moving, I'd do it ASAP, before the shrubs get noticeably bigger. They're going to cut into the property value, both physically & dollar-wise. Are the shrubs blocking access to your back yard (yet?) The pic feels like you're standing near your house, just behind you.

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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jun 26, 2015 4:31 PM CST
Keith,
I understand 'the neighbor from Hell' as he lives next door to me.
One day when I was not home he came into my yard with a lawnmower and cut down everything that was green...25 feet over the property line! I put up a new clothesline and the next day he put his lawn sprinkler on and watered 25 feet into my yard...all over the clothesline.

I checked with the police and this is what they said. There is something called a 'good neighbor bond'. It is like a restraining order, but since you and the other guy are neighbors it states that the neighbor must respect the property line and not trespass on your side or damage/cut/mow anything in your yard. It only costs about $25 to file the paperwork. Once the paperwork is filed...(here comes the good part)...the next time the neighbor does something wrong...violates the order...you call the police and the man/woman will be arrested on the spot. Period.

In this photo you can see the landscape timbers that represent the property line. That does not stop the 'neighbor from Hell'...but the Good Neighbor Bond works pretty darn good.
Thumb of 2015-06-26/greene/401afd
Guess you can figure out that in the photo the 'Neighbor from Hell' lives on the left and I live on the right. Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing

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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Jun 26, 2015 4:55 PM CST
Keith, something else to consider about pruning your side of the junipers - if you cut them back too far on your side, you might have a bare spot or a hole in the shrub's foliage to look at for quite a while. They don't grow back all that quickly, and could look really bad on your side. You could nip off the branches that are sticking out, but to trim that puppy back all the way to the property line would look awful.

A new fence on your side of the property line is the answer, sadly. Now that you have cameras, you can prosecute him if he does anything about a new fence.
Elaine

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Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Jun 26, 2015 5:04 PM CST
That's a great law, Greene. I wonder if we have a similar law. Not that I have every had any neighbors from hell, thank God.
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Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
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Zencat
Jun 26, 2015 6:27 PM CST
How far over the property line are they and are they interfering with anything? Are they a problem or are you just wanting to trim them? I'm just curious.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
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Weedwhacker
Jun 26, 2015 6:38 PM CST
This is all definitely making me remember why I really like living in the middle of 12 acres, with large trees surrounding our yard and can't even see the road from our house, much less the neighbors. The worst thing that seems to happen here is that the neighbor kids across the road like to blast their stereo in our direction, or occasionally shoot off firecrackers that upset our dogs. Not all that bad, in the grand scheme of things...

Keith, I really do feel for you in this situation; having nearby neighbors that seem bent on making your life miserable is an awful thing. If you have recourse to something like the "good neighbor bond" that Greene described, that could be a great solution; but I honestly don't think escalating the situation is going to make your life any better. Maybe you could find an impartial third party that could sit down with all of you to kind of mediate the situation and come up with some compromises?
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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jun 26, 2015 7:09 PM CST
On the plus side...the house/property belong to Keith's parents so it's up to them, the parents, to decide what to do or they may decide to do nothing.

I like the idea of adding a bit of fence as suggested by @dyzzypyxxy That would better define the space and may stop the neighbor's landscaper workers from trespassing.

How about a gradual, long term, pruning? Just snip one tiny branch this week...then one next week...little by little until gradually the shrub is within its own property? Shrug!

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