Was: Neighbor Problem



I have a similar situation except I'm on the other side. I have a giant Elm tree that has a few large branches hanging into the neighbors yard, crowding his power service line.
Last year he came and asked me to trim the tree and my Lilacs that were pushing through the fence. I gladly went and trimmed the lilacs back and disposed of the cuttings, but then his tone started to get to me and I decided not to trim the tree. He wasnt necessarily rude, but I could tell he was frustrated and all worked up. Once I thought about it a bit I thought 'fuck him, trim it yourself." Why should I have to care for his property, especially when his yard is littered with dog shit and stinks.
Just the other day someone comes slamming on my door guess who. He had the same tone, I could tell he was all worked up but still trying to be polite. He asked if it was OK to trim the tree back and put the cuttings in my yard. I said fine, but informed him that public service had left me a notice and was scheduled to trim the Elm back from the power lines in the next week or two. I also mentioned that it might be illegal to do so, not to mention dangerous.
Once again his undertone was pissing me off and the pounding on my door while not using the doorbell really drove it home.
Whats everyone opinion on this situation? Should I just swallow my pride and go over and cut the limbs up to the 8ft(the only code I could fine online regarding trees in passageways) or should I let him worry about it?
Thanks,
Matt
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
clipped

It sounds like there is some "history" here, more than trees and shrubs? THE neighbor from hell, and president of condo board, and relative, in my experience is THE most unpleasant person I have EVER known. I am retired, worked all of my adult life in very responsible profession. I have met, and dealt with, all kinds. When I sense a dislike for someone, I look for something to like about them, and rarely fail to find something. When given a choice, I avoid people who are unpleasant. The people I have known who have been truly unpleasant tend to have had very difficult and rather sad lives. Not into kissing up to bullies, but it is in both of your best interest to look for common ground and something to agree about. I would not go onto someone else's property to do landscaping unless they were close friends. If the guy is angry because your plants grow, tough luck. I would avoid doing his chores, but perhaps he would like help with a project sometime? Grill some burgers and invite him over. Worth a try.
Elms can be pretty dirty trees, and seed lots of volunteers. Is that the issue? Dropping a lot of dead wood in his yard? Perhaps a pro trimming/thinning of the tree would help matters?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Remember, you asked for an opinion.
Bottom line, I believe no one should allow anything on their property to prevent a neighbor from using their property how ever they wish. Granted, your tree provides shade but maybe he wants to place flowers underneath it that require full sunlight. Or doesn't want sap dripping on his picnic table. Or bird droppings. Or maybe he wants to plant his own tree.
Similar to an in ground lawn sprinkler. It can squirt away, soaking every car and pedestrian who passes. If you stood at the curb with a garden hose doing the same thing, you would likely be arrested.
I would go over (ring the bell!) and be the better man. Tell him you know he is frustrated with the overhanging limbs. Ask him to be patient and see how the public service people trim it. That might suit him. Before they come ask him exactly which limbs were the problem. Maybe even tie some ribbon or rags on them. Try to be home when PS comes. Perhaps you could politely ask them to remove the tagged limbs as well. If not, at least the neighbor has committed to what it would take to please him.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I called our city's forestry dept. and they informed me that he was entitled to cut the branches, but I was ultimately responsible.
So I stopped off at Lowes yesterday after work and bought a pole pruner. First thing I did when I got home was to go over and trim all of my trees branches growing into his yard up to an 8' heighth.
Thanks to everyone for your replies,
Matt
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Actually it's your property - it's your tree.

If they trim trees like they do around here, I suggest you have it done yourself. They did trees around here -- when they were done it looked a cartoon cannonball went through, a big circle all the way down the line. They don't give a damn about the tree, just the powerlines.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In property-line tree matters, my understanding of the law (locally, YMWV): notification of owner that overhanging tree is a hazard makes owner liable for damage triggered by "act of God", parts of tree crossing property line may be cut at that line at discretion/expense of cutter.
Cutting at the line presumes a few things, and can leave ugly stumps. And ... stump likely will spring back some from the line to the delight of lawyers. :')
Depending, you might negotiate allowing cutting party to cut back to marked points that won't deface or damage tree. Watch out on allowing neighbor to cut over the line on your side- a few years back, neighbor had workers prune our tree about 8' back from line. Way more than agreed to.
HTH, J
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
MattMika wrote:

Its your tree that is threatening to damage his property. While laws vary from place to place, were he injured trying to protect his property from damage by your tree, I would rather have his case than yours. I think you should get over your emotional reaction to his tone of voice and work with him to safely resolve the problem.
Around here, the utilities just trim the trees threatening their lines, not the drops from their line to your service. However, if you contact them and ask a favor, they will always (in my experience) go beyond what they "have" to do, and trim branches that threaten the drop line.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hummm... If your neighbor has been good in the past, take that into consideration. If not, F him. You gave a perfectly good reason why NOT to do it yourself.
If the responsibility falls onto you trimming your own tree, then I would consider doing it when its convienent for you. If he wants to have a go at it, let him then.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.