when neighbors do the pruning for you

Sigh.
My husband and I spent today cleaning up the yard, clearing dead growth, mowing, prepping the vegetable garden for spring. I noticed a lot of branches in the yard on the side of the house with no windows, looks like our next door neighbor pruned the lilac bush that grows on the property line and dropped the branches over the fence into our yard. (Probably sometime last fall or early winter)
I'm tempted to drop our grass clippings in his front lawn, but I really want it for compost. :)
Anyway, I think he's perfectly within his right to whack off whatever part of the plant he feels is invading his yard, but if he's going to do that he can take care of the debris himself. Has anyone else had to deal with this sort of problem? How do you approach the neighbor?
FWIW, neither of us is the original homeowner, this lilac was planted a good 30 years ago and is about 20 feet high.
Dawn
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Legally, he is perfectly correct. The plant is your property, but it is trespassing. He is within his rights to prune whetever sticks over the preoperty line, but he may not keep the trimmings as they are your property, as they came from your plant.
If you talk to him and tell him he can keep whatever he cuts he MAY dispose of it in future, but he is under no oblgation to do so.
If he keeps the trimmings he commits theft unless he has your permission.
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Your neighbor is a jerk. Pick up the debris and get rid of it. He/she will never change and thinking of ways to accomplish that is a huge waste of effort. My idiot neighbor was boasting on how his kids can walk barefoot in the grass now. He said "...Ah put some uh that fire ant stuff down and now ma kids kin walk round barefoot." He showed me the bag. It says, do NOT walk on lawn after...or pets...etc.
Shook my head, walked away. Nuff said.

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I would check and see if he actually was legally able to throw the limbs back over your fnece on your side. I would think it varies in regards to what can or can't be done with such materials if they choose to do the pruning on their side. In my area it wold be considered illegal dumping, as the person took it on his own to prune, so he is required to dispose of it as well. I used to run intoi things like this when I did arborist work and I always hated to work on trees that extended over a property line. Usually a person is legally allowed to do what he / she wants to overhanging brush and limbs etc that are over their property line, but only up to the extent that they do not kill the tree or plant, but then again that can vary as well. To me you seem to have a butthole of a neighbor, and unless you or they move or can bury the hatchet are always going to have a problem in regards to one thing or another. Some folks are just plain buttholes and will never change. I get the idea your neighbor is like this, but then again only one side of a story and history of neighbor relationships has been heard.
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this is true where my mother lives. we trimmed back the brush so people could park their cars and dropped the stuff over the fence into the wild area of the neighbor from hells property. because the area is so tangled and wild she cannot actually see this area of her property unless she is standing on my mothers private drive. but she promptly called the police who informed us we had to remove it. our guests were entertained no ends by the arrival of the police and being witness to yet another chapter in the "lot wars". Ingrid
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Forgive my butting in. But, before we start deciding that the neighbor is a jerk (based on such little info) You must first attempt some form of good communication. (Talk to them!) Perhaps they simply thought they were doing the right thing. (No, it's not what I, or most of us, would do.) But give it a chance. Lack of communication is one huge reason why we have "undesirable" neighbors in the first place. Sorry for the rant. Cindy
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It is highly unlikely a neighbor would hack a shrub and toss the trimmings wherever he wanted if he was a nice man/woman. I don't waste my time with such "communication" any more. It never works.

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message<
Sigh.
My husband and I spent today cleaning up the yard, clearing dead growth, mowing, prepping the vegetable garden for spring. I noticed a lot of branches in the yard on the side of the house with no windows, looks like our next door neighbor pruned the lilac bush that grows on the property line and dropped the branches over the fence into our yard.
(Probably sometime last fall or early winter)
I'm tempted to drop our grass clippings in his front lawn, but I really want it for compost. :)
good deal, sounds like they don't deserve yer compostable clippings anyway. They might have thought they were doing you a favor..........and to be honest....................I used to do my prunings on my own shrubs and trees and drop the branches over the fence into the pasture next to me..........until the front neighbor's brother in law needed to move his cattle into that pasture and Squire and I had to clean out the side of the fence for him. We did it willingly and without being asked, and that's when I discovered the tree man had dumped huge trunks of a Jack pine he'd topped for me years back into the pasture over the fence too.........that's not good neighbors and I apologized for it to Mr. Hammer. Luckily he allowed us to just leave that debris and said he'd burn it himself when he cleaned out the whole fence row later on in the season with his tractor and burn it.
Because we cleaned up our mess and cleared it out, there was no hard feelings, but if we'd just ignored our mess figuring it wasn't a big deal we'd made bad feelings from a close neighbor. I now burn my debris since I don't have a chipper............and am actually thinking of dumping the debris over the BACK of my fence into the pasture behind me that will NEVER be developed <g> (I will ask the neighbor who owns that property if he minds, but it's so overgrown with dogwoods, blackberry canes, poison ivy, small pin oaks, and lots and lots of cedar trees it would take a bulldozer to clear it out. The blackberry canes alone will rip the flesh from your bones they're so huge and thick!)
"Anyway, I think he's perfectly within his right to whack off whatever part of the plant he feels is invading his yard, but if he's going to do that he can take care of the debris himself. Has anyone else had to deal with this sort of problem? How do you approach the neighbor?"
You approach him this way........(I'm serious here, I'm a nice person and confront people on a daily basis) with a friendly smile on your face and a sincere tone in your voice " I see our old lilac was becoming a nuisance to you on the property line and you had to prune it back a ways. Could you next time there is a problem with anything like that, just let me know so I can do it so you won't have to? I have specific times I prune the blooming shrubs, and you went to a lot of trouble that is a pleasure for me to do since I'm a gardener! (BIG smile). That old lilac needed thinning out anyway, but I love to do those things for myself. At least now the blossoms will be larger! I appreciate your troubles and efforts, but let me know so I can get out there and assist if you need it or just do it myself, ok?"
"FWIW, neither of us is the original homeowner, this lilac was planted a good 30 years ago and is about 20 feet high."
Dawn
take cuttings now while there is green growth. New wood dipped in rooting powder, shoved into soil less mix, kept damp and warm until late May, then plant the little whips into larger pots and allow to grow in those until fall and plant within a closer boundary of your house away from the property line. The thirty year old lilac would resist being dug up or I'd say dig it up and move it closer in your yard...............
FWIW, pruning the old lilac will make the flowers that were growing last season larger..........It's always a good idea to cut out a third of an older lilac. Remove the larger branches, from inside the bush....... leaving 2/3rds of it. Next year, another third of the largest branches. That way you don't sacrifice the blooms but encourage newer growth.
madgardener up on the ridge, back in Fairy Holler overlooking English Mountain in Eastern Tennessee, zone 7, Sunset zone 36
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wrote:

I cut back a hedge (that was getting over 14' tall) on the property line and went onto the neighbor's property to trim that side too. I asked the neighbor first before starting on that side. I raked up all the clippings. Your neighbor probably has the right to trim anything that overhangs onto his property without your consent, although local laws can differ. It was a little crude to leave a mess on someone else's property. Personally, I would just clean up whatever debris is on my property and avoid saying anything at all to a neighbor. Hard to believe you let the debris lay there for months, I'd have it picked up within a day or two (but then again I only have a half acre of land). You are fortunate to have a large lilac hedge!
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I agree.
Personally, I would just clean up whatever debris is

It happened sometime during the winter, and I wasn't out in the yard for several months. It's not on the side of the yard we use to access the back half of the property.

I love my lilacs, and that they are established and have such wonderful blooms. Our back deck is surrounded by very large lilacs, too, and for a few weeks in spring it is temperate and sunny and the fragrance is heavely and we spend nearly every evening on the deck.
Well, I went out today and cut a lot of suckers and dead wood out of the offending plants (looks like at least two were planted within about 3 feet of each other), including everything that was growing through the fence.
Tonight I'm going to go over and ask if the offer to use their wood chipper is still open. And I'll mention that if the lilac bothers them again, to let me know and I'll take care of it.
Dawn
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Let me present a different viewpoint, since everyone thinks your neighbor was in the wrong... You neglected to properly prune your Lilac to the point your neighbor had no choice but to prune it himself as it was invading his property; furthermore, you have neglected upkeep in your yard that you don't even know when this happened but you suspect last fall. IMO, it is you that is clearly in the wrong and you should clean up the mess and maintain your property in a more respectful manner.
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Sincerely,
The Vice President
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I do a lot of dispute work for this sort of thing with trees.
The neighbor generally has the right to prune the tree back to the property line, but is generally prohibited from doing this in a way that damages your real property (i.e. the plant).
Plants between neighbors are often treated like children in an ugly divorce. Sad but true.
--
Mike LaMana, MS
Heartwood Consulting Services, LLC
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I think you'll find the position is that, legally what he cuts off is yours so of course he is an least entitled (if not obliged) to return the prunings to you.
Now I wonder if that also applies to the dog poop on my yard? Any attorneys here? Gerry www.garden-guide.net ...for responsible gardening
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dead growth,

lot of

windows, looks

on the

our yard.

but I really

whatever
going to do

had to deal

planted a

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