I have more of an etiquette question than a growing question.
My nectarine tree I planted four years ago is producing fruit like a
lemon tree! It's bowing the limbs there are so many.
Today, as I walked out through my garage to the strip where I'd planted
the tree, I saw a "neighbor" helping himself to my nectarines. I'm not
upset about that -- even slightly. As I said, it's producing nectarines
like a fiend on speed. I'm willing to share. What caught me off balance
was his wanton destruction on light limbs and branch tips. If a piece of
fruit resisted, he'd snap the branch.
We exchanged a couple phrases about his pruning tactics and I strongly
requested the eight nectarines he'd packed away in his jogging suit
Is this normal for fruit trees in people's front yards, even those
located clearly on said owner's property?
I just don't get it...
This is the kind of behavior one would expect from a child, not an adult. At
wasn't trying to be sneaky, like doing it at 2 am. I would have let him eat the
fruit, and then
tell him that you spray with poison chemicals, and he better go to the nearest
If he repeats his activities after you warn him off, I would not hesitate to
call the police. I
wonder if they make a Have-A-Heart big
enough for him to crawl into?
The Ranger wrote:
Is this "neighbor" known to you? That doesn't sound like normal
behavior, in the sense of "what normal people do." But if your
neighborhood is normal, you're likely to have one or two residents who
are not quite normal.
Perhaps you need to work on your reputation as "the surly *sshole with
the nectarine tree," and folks will give you and your tree a wider
Only because he walks past my castle everyday. He lives a couple streets
over. We're less-than nodding acquaintances.
I was grousing to my FIL about this and he observed from his daily walks
that apple, pear, and cherry trees are heavily poached. He does his part
to let the offenders know that not everyone appreciates such brazen
actions but it's an uphill battle, particularly during autumn harvest
I'm already known as the neighborhood kook... I'll set MARCOM to working
on the "surly" immediately.
A couple of streets over!! Wow, that's even weirder than I thought. I
pictured it being the guy next door who just had to walk across his
property line several feet. I also figured he knew you well enough to
think you wouldn't mind.
Man, I think I would be putting up an electric fence or something!
No, no such luck. I caught another this morning, an older lady that I've
never seen walk through the neighborhood. She was also _a lot_ more
brazen, refusing to back down when I asked if she was going to leave any
of the greener fruit to ripen. She sneered a tsk at me and turned her
back... 'Til I turned the hose on her. I don't think she'll be using my
portion of the sidewalk anytime soon.
A neighbor down the street from me put a "hair net" around his lemon
tree (also our front). Originally, he said, it was to prevent the local
jays from destroying his Meyers but it's had a bonus of reducing
pilfering. (I guess none of these jerks carries a knife or pair of
scissors with them.) He, of course, sympathized with my plight (after he
stopped laughing) and offered me an extra from his stash. Now all I have
to do is figure out how to attach the thing without killing the tree.
How rude! She is on your property, taking your fruit, and thinks that's
ok? Good on you for using the hose.
I've found a motion activated sprayer quite effective for all types of
garden critter pests including inconsider neighbours. I move it to
different spots so the critters don't figure out a way to get into the
garden a different way without being sprayed.
Good luck with the netting. I hope it helps. It's a shame you have to
Jehovah's Witnesses once, but I've never had to hose down the
I do sympathize, it's amazing how manners and civilized behavior are
chucked right out when people think they're getting something for
free. I used to plant some ornamental peppers near the street, but, as
you saw, people would snatch off half of a branch just to get at the
pepper. If they'd asked, I would have shared those and more of the
ones from the main garden, I always have plenty.
When I went on vacation last year, I told my friends to please help
themselves to whatever peppers and tomatoes came ripe while I was
gone. I got home to find the peppers stripped of everything but the
smallest, unripe peppers. The tomato plants *were* stripped, nary a
green tomato left, much less anything that might be getting ready to
turn. I asked around and figured out which person had done that, and
gently explained that perhaps she'd been a bit greedy. She thought it
was funny, and said that she had to get while the getting was good,
because once I was home I'd be eating the peppers and tomatoes.
Well, yeah, it's my garden. She asked me when I was going on vacation
this year, and got rather huffy when I told her she wasn't welcome to
pick this year.
I've been on the other side of that - almost.
When my sister went on vacation earlier this summer, she told me to pick any
ripe tomatoes I found. (I was handling the mail, banking, payroll, and
emergencies for her three businesses for two weeks, so it wasn't as though I
was freeloading.) So my kids and I diligently picked the ripe tomatoes every
day when we went to get her mail. We shared them with my mom and in-laws so
that the tomatoes wouldn't go to waste.
What she didn't tell me was that she had *also* told one of her employees
that he could pick any ripe tomatoes he found. I didn't learn that until
yesterday when I met him face-to-face for the first time and he said,
"So, YOU'RE the tomato thief! I was out there every day looking for ripe
tomatoes, and I never found a single one!"
I explained that my sister had never told me she'd told anyone else to pick
the tomatoes, or I'd have left some.
I don't think he's too annoyed about it. I hope not, since he's building me
a new privacy fence and replacing some damaged siding (thanks Hurricane
Dennis!), and I want him to do a good job. So, I'm being really nice to him,
too. "Can I get you anything to drink? Look, my grapes are ripe - if you'd
like some, take all you want." :-)
In Melbourne, Australia he would be regarded as being a thief, but I
doubt our Police would charge him or that a Court would convict him
because he seemed to have open access to your
Did he have to open a gate to enter, etc?
I'm nit picking now but perhaps you could have developed a more
friendly dialogue with him. Because now after you have demanded the
return of the eight nectarines he will probably return but be more
secretive in future.
I grow Tomatoes, Apricots and other fruits in my front yard simply
because if I grow them in the backyard my dogs will eat them.
Before I allow my dogs supervised access to my front yard I first have
to check that there is nobody there stealing tomatoes etc. otherwise
I'm liable for injury should my dogs bite the critters.
Poaching can be a criminal activity, if a LEO observes the act but in
this case I would have needed to make a citizen's arrest, pressed
charges of tresspassing, and followed through with the court costs.
The tree is 10' away from the public sidewalk, clearly on my property,
but out front, so neither person needed to enter through a gate or hop a
Well, yes and no. I _was_ willing to part with the fruit in a more
friendly manner but I'd've really preferred to have an undamaged tree.
That was just unwanton destruction on his part, and that's what ticked
In any case, the second jerk I squirted seems to have sent word about
the neighborhood that I'm a crank and, as such, not to be messed with.
Poaching is down to zilch and I'm now watching the remaining fruits
mature. The few I've enjoyed thus far have been magnificent!
If you end up with more fruit than you can possibly use, you might want
to put out a table near the sidewalk. Keep it stocked with fruit and
place a sign saying "please take a few". In your neighborhood, maybe you
had better chain down the table. ;-)
I don't have any warning signs on the front gate. I suppose if the
gate was locked to prevent unauthorised access then such a sign would
probably prevent liability for someone's injury if they trespassed and
Same here (Illinois) Haveing such a sign means you know you have a
dangerous dog(s). Same as Beware of Dog signs. Not having a sign
gives you plausable deniablity. "Gee, I didn't know he was dangerous.
He has never done this before! What was the guy doing in my bathroom
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