Please dont get moralistic over this; believe me this job isn'
something I will relish. However it has to be done. A neighbour ha
planted four Poplar trees on his/my boundary fence. They will, in tim
destroy the garden I have worked so hard to build up and maintain (o
some of the poorest solis in the UK) by overshading the garden from th
We dont communicate following him shooting our cat with his air rifle
The trees have just been planted and it seems to me that the correc
application of the correct substance, under the lifted root (during th
early hours of the morning) might cause the trees not to come into lea
this spring. I hope then he will abandon his willful horticultura
I wonder what that substance might be? Any ideas?
He is an idiot. Poplar trees have only one real use, that is on a farm
out in Kansas to use as a windbreak, planted hundreds of feet from the
house. You really have to get on with killing these things as quick as
you can. These are weeds! My parents had a row of them in their
backyard that the prior homeowner planted - they looked great when
they bought the house and moved in and they were small - but they
absolutely destroyed the lawn and it took years to get rid of them.
As well as rot and fall over, caving in your home roof in a storm, etc.
While that is a bit over the top, you should also understand that free
roaming housecats are responsible for killing songbirds. He does have
a right to not have your cat in his yard.
This absolutely IS horticultural terrorism, more than you know. Poplars
are prohibited in a LOT of places for good reason.
Your best bet, IMHO, is to wait until the trees leaf out, then give them a
good spraying of Roundup. Do NOT wait
until high summer. The trees use their stored energy to leaf out, then
start absorbing energy the rest of the summer. You want to get them
right after they finish leafing out and before they start storing energy.
Naturally any overspray will kill your garden. But I think this is going
to have to be collateral damage your going to have to live with. Your
neighbor has obviously planted the trees hoping to pick a fight with
you. If the trees die and your garden remains perfect, he's going to
against your garden probably with Roundup as well. If his trees die and
your garden also dies (espically the part next to the trees) you can go
over to him and bitch at him for planting trees that introduced some sort
of plant disease. Fortunately, there's a large number of diseases that
kill Poplars so when his die on him as a result of your spraying, and he
starts going around to the various garden places asking what killed them,
he will get a plentiful number of differing answers. If your garden also
dies, he will be unlikely to think that you deliberately killed his trees,
and even if he does and calls the police on you, or files a court case
against you, the fact that your own garden was damaged as well will
likely convince the cops or a judge that you had nothing to do with it.
I would definitely wait until he has left the house for work before
Here's some more info on these:
Bad idea; the visible leaf damage from toxic spray is entirely
different from natural dieback. One look at the leaves will be a
complete giveaway that someone has just applied poison to his trees (no
prizes for guessing whodunnit). Using a soil- poison over the roots also
risks a deadly giveaway, as it will kill any existing weed growth and
prevent weed recovery or seed germination for 6 months after, leaving
telltale bare soil patches.
If he ever gets a clue you poisoned his trees, remember, he has already
set a precedent of killing your pet. It would be easy for him to
retaliate by laying poison bait to kill other animals you have. Are you
prepared to risk that? Getting into rural/neighbourhood tit-for-tat
feuding can escalate out of hand so is a seriously bad idea unless you
are 100% certain the crime is undetectable. Among other things, that
means you never, ever discuss the problem or the solution in the local
pub, at home with even your closest friends, at the local garden centre,
etc. Or blag about it on the internet.
If you must kill the trees, it has to be in a way that looks natural
The simplest, if they are still small enough to reach, is simply to rub
off with fingers every single leaf bud on every twig (soon, before they
start to swell and open; and keep it up with any new ones that appear
later) . A newly planted deciduous young tree which never opens a
single leaf in the first spring /summer after planting, will die.
Ah, but you see, he is in a very difficult position here. He's really got
1 shot to kill his neighbors trees. Once the neighbor realizes what he is
planning the neighbor will probably setup a camera and film him. Then
he is going to be screwed, the neighbor will have enough to sue him.
Roundup is very effective and will be translocated to the rest of the tree -
as will many other herbicides. He really doesen't have to spray the entire
tree - just get enough on his side of the tree will do it. Of course, if
neighbor is smart he will get wise to it - but I think the neighbor isn't
or he wouildn't have planted the things in the first place. If the neighbor
catches on, he can always argue "oops, I made a mistake when I was
spraying my garden" Spraying accidents, while not everyday occurances,
happen with enough frequency that claiming it's an accident is pretty
believable - the worst that might happen is he might be required to pay
for the trees, but if they are on the property line, there will be a lot of
of who really owns them.
There's not really any such thing as an undetectable crime in this context.
The neighbor dislikes him and is obviously trying to do whatever possible
to be a complete asshole and jerk. As soon as the trees die, the neighbor
is going to assume that he killed them, even if it's done in a completely
clean manner. And the more effort he goes to to hide the crime, the more
effort the neighbor will put into hiding the retaliation.
He is already in a tit-for-tat situation, and it is going to escalate until
two neighbors make life so unpleasant for each other that one of them
decides it just isn't worth it, and sells out and moves away. And, he
already does correctly realize that the trees are planted, and if he tips
hand attempting mediation or some such, it will just give the neighbor
documentation that he disliked the trees - which later on when he kills
them, will be used by the neighbor against him. Further, any attempt
at mediation is going to result in some idiot mediator making the neighbor
promise to keep the trees topped, or some such, that will simply be
ignored later on. It certainly won't result in the removal of the trees
Really, the best thing in a tit-for-tat situation is for him to make such a
massive retaliation that is so over the top, so that while the neighbor is
still not that emotionally involved the neighbor makes a logical conclusion
that he is an insane wacko, and it's not worth continuing the escalation.
Um, his ID that was used could be completely fake, there is no way that
you or the neighbor could trace it back to him. But you are correct about
bragging about it or telling anyone about it - that is how most criminals
I'll admit that I discovered this in my younger days myself when I was
involved in a few relatively harmless pranks (removing No Parking signs
and such from the college strip that literally had them every 3 feet on
We never were caught actually doing the stuff - it was always later on
when someone told someone else about it that we were discovered.
Poplars are notorious for suckering and I don't think that this will
work right away. It might in the long run but it's going to require him
to spend a lot of time on doing it, and the more time he spends screwing
with the trees the higher the chance the neighbor will catch him in the
Remember the Borgias, ye of little imagination. Offer the neighbor a
peace libation of carrot juice that has been sitting out unrefrigerated
for the last two weeks, open, and uncovered. The botulism will do the
rest and no black grease up you finger nails.
Is there a fence between you & the neighbour? If so, is it low? Does the
fence run alongside a public accessway, footpath etc? How thick are the
I am wondering whether in the dead of night you may be able to snap the
bastards off near the base. Do a bit of damage to your garden as well. You
may need to sacrifice a few plants or damage the odd one that was due to
come out or get pruned back (save doing too much damage your side). Next
morning 'discover' the carnage done to your garden and immediately march
round to confront your neighbour. That will put him on the back foot and
reduce his ability to blame you for snapping his trees.
Genius Rob! (Have you done this before?).
I know a head gardener on a country estate and have just come out of
meeting with him. He recommends drilling a small hole into the base o
the tree with a cordless drill. Flood Glyphosate (Roundup or Clinic
into the hole. Then use a prepared wood filler, coloured to match th
tree, to close off the hole. It will take a while to kill them, i
which time any saw dust left from the drill will have disappeared.
He thinks it is very improtant to give off a fiendish laugh when th
operation is complete but i'm going to save any smugness for the tim
no, I didn't recommend blasting the neighbour in the face during a hunting
trip, merely snapping his trees. Problem with the suggestions posted are the
potential signs of deliberate poisoning. If you can make it look like a
random act of vandalism minimal chance of it being traced back to you.
Well in my book that's a declaration of war. Killing someone's pet is
uncalled for unless the animal is attacking something or is rabid. The
accepted recourse is
to live-trap them, then call the dog/cat pound and after the animal is
hauled off, leave a note on the door of the pet owner. Often the
lesson is more effective when they have to pay money to the pound
to get them out - and the pound will of course make sure that not
only do they pay the fine, they also pay to have the animal licensed.
But shooting across the property line into someone else's property
to kill a pet is completely crossing the line. Hell, here in the city
it's illegal to discharge
a weapon in such a situation, they don't even allow you to target
practice in your back yard. Thank goodness that our neighbors
on the street here are all decent people.
Hey, maybe you could pull his property tax records and find out he
hasn't paid property taxes for the last 20 years or so and get him
Did you call the cops on them? I'm sure you did - and I'm sure they
didn't prosecute and you got screwed over, if I know anything about
how the cops work.
There are differences?
The only differences I ever saw was the woody root was below the
ground, and the woody stem was above the ground. The second that the
woody root erupted through the surface of the ground (and from what I
saw just about all of the roots did this eventually, or so it seemed) it
turned into a stem, and a new poplar tree sprang to life. Or it did until I
ran over it with my dad's lawnmower.
There were weekends mowing that lawn that the -only- thing that had
grown during the week was the poplar suckers.
If your such an expert, name 5 things that poplar wood is used for
OTHER than burning or making paper.
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