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View Full Version : Neighbor Trimmed My White Pines (pics)


Darryl G
02-28-2011, 04:58 PM
Attached are some pictures of some White Pine trees that my neighbor trimmed or had trimmed....I'm not sure if he did it himself or had his landscaper do it. I'm looking for opinions on whether or not these things are butchered and whether I should just put them out of their misery.

I won't go into the whole story here at this point, but these trees and some shrubs are located on my property and the neighbor is responsible for maintaining them. I had actually trimmed them and the Rhodies in front of them myself a few months before he did this to them. All I had done was to cut out some dead branches and the inward facing and crossing branches and some drought damage from when they were first planted. They were planted about 5 years ago. You can see that a couple of them are suffering from lack of sunlight near the woods edge.

Let me say that I'm certainly not an Arborist but I did work for one for as a ground man for a year and I would have never pruned these trees the way my neighbor did. He basically topped them all and cut the tips of the branches, almost as if they were shrubs.

It drives me nuts every time I look at them and I can't see how they will ever grow into decent trees now. I'm seriously considering just cutting them all down.

Your thoughts?

Thanks in advance.

Darryl G
02-28-2011, 05:02 PM
2 More pics.

If anything I would have just cut one or two of them out to give them some room rather than trimming them like he did, since they're too close to let them mature with that many in such a small space.

StoneFaced
02-28-2011, 05:35 PM
Depends on what effect your looking for. I would consider those to be park grade, so if you wanted a more formal look, they should have been developed/maintained as sheared or semi-sheared.

Your neighbor did a lousy pruning job, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they can't be shaped and developed better over the next few years, with time and proper care.

What stands out to me most is the multi-stems, when there should only be one leader. When they get to the point they are now, it's kind of hard to fix that. Also, one has a catti- wampus (arched/curved leader), also not a good thing.

Personally, I would try reshaping them after they harden off and shear them each year or every other, depending on how you want them to look.

The way they are cut now, they will gain more width/girth. If the leader was modestly trimmed w/ a shapely shear...you could develop them to be more dense. The leaders in the mean time will try to redevelop, which is a good thing if you wish to keep them. I do think the multi-leaders are to far developed, to consider removing all but one, so I'd probably live w/ that for now and just realize they could eventually split out, especially under a heavy snow/ice load. Good luck!

Darryl G
02-28-2011, 05:45 PM
Thanks for the reply. I think the mutiple leaders are due to drought damage when they were first planted. They were planted in August of 2005 I think, which was very hot and dry and there was no means of watering them so I think the main leaders withered and died off. A couple of the trees that were planted died.

The truth is that I never wanted nor approved them being installed there in the first place...the builder who built my neighbors house installed them. I allowed them to stay under a license agreement but I have the right to do what I please with them. I'm not about to put much effort into them myself with a neighbor capable of just buthering them all over again....you know....

Darryl G
02-28-2011, 06:49 PM
Let me ask another question here. Do you think it's clear that these trees were not maintained properly? It was the neighbors responsibility to maintain them (under a written agreement) and I think they look like crap. They don't weed or mulch the beds anymore either. His attitude is that since he doesn't own the property he's not gonna spend any money on it. I'd just as soon cut the damn things down...I'll be back there with my chain saw doing some other stuff as soon as the weather improves a bit anyway.

In fact he's supposed to maintain the 600 right-of-way (gravel driveway) across my property to his house and he does a pretty poor job of that too. This was all part of the deal during negotiations with the builder for me to grant an easement for underground utilities to be brought in.

Az Gardener
02-28-2011, 08:44 PM
Yes they look like crap and will always be a problem. The new growth will come in bunches and have poor attachment points as the trees mature making them a liability for the future. If you were here you could sue him and get 3 times the value of the existing tree. Pruning other peoples trees is serious business here.

Why in the world if your in the business would you delegate the tree maint. to someone else? I have a rental with a nice mature landscape (a rarity here in Phoenix) and I build the cost of maintaining it into the rent. If I didn't they would shut off the water and it would be toast. Or they would turn my Nandinas into cubes and my bougs into balls, no thank you.

Darryl G
02-28-2011, 11:35 PM
The deal is that the trees were planted on my property but within his right-of-way by the builder without my permission. During negotiations of a utility easment and some other issues, I allowed them to stay there under a license agreement that made them responsible for maintaining them, but gave me the right to remove them at any time for any reason. Giving them permission is a key to ending any eventual eminent domain claim...that's where if someone uses and maintains your property over a period of time they can make a legal claim to ownership of it.

Bascially although they're on my property, they're not really "my" trees and I never wanted them there in the first place. Considering this guy is a jerk to me anyway and has failed to maintain them or the right-of-way in a reaonable manner, and attacked my dog and I with his snowblower over the winter, I think they have a date with my chain saw ;)

StoneFaced
02-28-2011, 11:56 PM
It sounds like you already know what you want to do. At this point, I'd have a lawyer review the whole matter just to iron out what sounds like a somewhat complex matter from the get go. Just to make sure the neighbor has no rights and has no recourse. I'm no expert, but I'd make sure I didn't wave any rights.

There are some legal sites where you can get some free advise, but you know how that can go.

"A Duty of Care", is a legal term you may want to look into and see how it applies in your state, as to it's relevance to your whole matter.

32vld
03-01-2011, 11:51 AM
The deal is that the trees were planted on my property but within his right-of-way by the builder without my permission. During negotiations of a utility easment and some other issues, I allowed them to stay there under a license agreement that made them responsible for maintaining them, but gave me the right to remove them at any time for any reason. Giving them permission is a key to ending any eventual eminent domain claim...that's where if someone uses and maintains your property over a period of time they can make a legal claim to ownership of it.

Bascially although they're on my property, they're not really "my" trees and I never wanted them there in the first place. Considering this guy is a jerk to me anyway and has failed to maintain them or the right-of-way in a reaonable manner, and attacked my dog and I with his snowblower over the winter, I think they have a date with my chain saw ;)


This why you don't buy property that has right off ways attached to the deed. Bad enough when you have an problem neighbor but he has rights to use your land.

2brothersyardcare
03-01-2011, 05:01 PM
dude ill come over there and help you i hate people like that! I have a neighbor like that so i deliberately f with her

Darryl G
03-01-2011, 09:44 PM
This why you don't buy property that has right off ways attached to the deed. Bad enough when you have an problem neighbor but he has rights to use your land.

Actually I didn't buy it, my Dad did in 1970. I bought a house next to it and later inherited it. I could have probably blocked that house from being built down there due to zoing issues but my attorney adviced against it. And I could have declined giving an easement to the utility company too. But there were benefits to both me allowing the house to be built and in me granting the easment. I won't go into all of that here though.

It is unfortunate that the guy who bought it turned out to be ...well...less than a desirable neighbor. But his house is nearly 1/2 mile from mine so it's not like I have to deal with him every day....it's big property.

Darryl G
03-01-2011, 09:46 PM
dude ill come over there and help you i hate people like that! I have a neighbor like that so i deliberately f with her

I might just take you up on that. I could use a witness, lol.

White Gardens
03-01-2011, 09:53 PM
You know Darryl, I have a gut feeling that if you either went and told him you were cutting them down, or just cut them down then he would be an easier neighbor. (At least you wouldn't have a good reason to deal with him anymore at the least)

I'd say he knew he was in the wrong or at least the installer was so he agreed to take care of them.

Sounds like he's just salty over them anyway, so remove the problem.

What was the deal with the dog?

Darryl G
03-01-2011, 10:39 PM
What was the deal with the dog?

You mean him attacking my dog and I with his snowblower...well that's a whole different story, lol. That's over on plowsite...page 3, post 45

http://www.plowsite.com/showthread.php?t=115007&highlight=snowblower&page=3

GMLC
03-02-2011, 11:20 AM
White pines are a pain in the you know what anyway. They grow super fast and make a huge mess(needles and pitch). I would recommend removing them and replacing with another type of shade tree for your rhodies.

2brothersyardcare
03-02-2011, 07:56 PM
im so down! lol ill cut them and you can just watch the guys face hahaha

Landrus2
03-02-2011, 08:21 PM
:dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::dizzy:

scagwildcat
03-05-2011, 07:48 AM
a few years ago people built a house next to mine, and as they were building i noticed one day as i was working on my truck that the owners were pointing at my equipment in my back yard, as i saw that i could only think HERE WE GO! here comes the problems! so a month went by and i get home from work one day, and find people installing a fence on my property line, a large cheap wooden fence and they gave me the ugly side, i called the town, as usual they didnt do anything about it. now i look over to the fence to see stuff that they own that they dont want to look at on my side! wtf.. rolls of fencing, wheel barrows, planting pots.. I tossed a few things back over the fence but my wife caught me and doesnt want me to start anything as we are wanting to build a garage out back and they didnt get permits for certain things so we need to wait for the right time! sorry for writing a book but, its your property, you pay taxes on it, i say if you want the trees gone, take them down! we'll just get all the ct lcos that are on here and make a human fence while you cut them, heehehehehe lol..

2brothersyardcare
03-05-2011, 10:35 AM
dude ill do it lol i hate people like that!

doyles
03-06-2011, 10:31 AM
It sounds like you already know what you want to do. At this point, I'd have a lawyer review the whole matter just to iron out what sounds like a somewhat complex matter from the get go. Just to make sure the neighbor has no rights and has no recourse. I'm no expert, but I'd make sure I didn't wave any rights.

There are some legal sites where you can get some free advise, but you know how that can go.

"A Duty of Care", is a legal term you may want to look into and see how it applies in your state, as to it's relevance to your whole matter.

i whould agree with stonefaced ask your lawer before you do anything

Darryl G
03-06-2011, 11:31 PM
I appreciate the advice but no need for the lawyer really. It's my property and it's written in the agreement that I can remove them any time. I'll just make sure to bring my map and copies of my paperwork and run a string along the property line first in case the cops show up, lol.

I went over this with my attorney 5 years ago when we were negotiating things with the builder. I'm certain of where the lot lines are and that all those trees are on my property and I can remove them at my discretion.

JayD
03-08-2011, 10:04 AM
Attached are some pictures of some White Pine trees that my neighbor trimmed or had trimmed....I'm not sure if he did it himself or had his landscaper do it. I'm looking for opinions on whether or not these things are butchered and whether I should just put them out of their misery.

I won't go into the whole story here at this point, but these trees and some shrubs are located on my property and the neighbor is responsible for maintaining them. I had actually trimmed them and the Rhodies in front of them myself a few months before he did this to them. All I had done was to cut out some dead branches and the inward facing and crossing branches and some drought damage from when they were first planted. They were planted about 5 years ago. You can see that a couple of them are suffering from lack of sunlight near the woods edge.

Let me say that I'm certainly not an Arborist but I did work for one for as a ground man for a year and I would have never pruned these trees the way my neighbor did. He basically topped them all and cut the tips of the branches, almost as if they were shrubs.

It drives me nuts every time I look at them and I can't see how they will ever grow into decent trees now. I'm seriously considering just cutting them all down.

Your thoughts?

Thanks in advance.

Sorry if I missed it, but why is it your neighbors responsibility to trim trees that are on your property?

Darryl G
03-09-2011, 07:30 PM
Sorry if I missed it, but why is it your neighbors responsibility to trim trees that are on your property?

It's his resposiblity because I made it his responsibility. The builder installed them in the right-of-way on my property. I didn't mind the way they looked at the time but to ward of any future claims by adverse possession, a formal license agreement was drawn up. I have enough to maintain (34 acres) and they're really no benefit to me so I made maintenace their responsibility.

Darryl G
03-09-2011, 07:39 PM
Well I was out back yesterday with my metal decector to find 2 buried boundary pins and to string a line along the property line. There are a total of 12 trees and shrubs on my property. I was really just there to see exactly what was on my property. He was a real jerk at first (as usual) so I told him I'll be right back with my chain saw to cut them all down. He said if I do that I'll be hearing from his attorney. I told him to read the license agreement because according to it I can remove them at any time.

I think he did read it and/or talked to his attorney because he was much nicer when I got back. He even offered me a case of Budwiser, which I declined, lol. I agreed to give him 30 days to salvage anything he wants. He says he's going to have the trees moved but I can't see that it's worth it.

JayD
03-09-2011, 10:53 PM
Well I was out back yesterday with my metal decector to find 2 buried boundary pins and to string a line along the property line. There are a total of 12 trees and shrubs on my property. I was really just there to see exactly what was on my property. He was a real jerk at first (as usual) so I told him I'll be right back with my chain saw to cut them all down. He said if I do that I'll be hearing from his attorney. I told him to read the license agreement because according to it I can remove them at any time.

I think he did read it and/or talked to his attorney because he was much nicer when I got back. He even offered me a case of Budwiser, which I declined, lol. I agreed to give him 30 days to salvage anything he wants. He says he's going to have the trees moved but I can't see that it's worth it.

Wow....keep us updated..This is a movie in the making...LOL

Kate Butler
03-11-2011, 07:17 PM
Does your agreement with him make it impossible for him to replant?

Darryl G
03-11-2011, 09:45 PM
Does your agreement with him make it impossible for him to replant?

Nope. It just gives permission for the plants that are there to remain. Me allowing them to remain until the builder/developer sold the place was a concession as part of the overall negotiations. I'll probably go ahead and have the license agreement formally terminated and recorded in the local land records.

If anything gets planted there it will be some native shrubs like Bayberry and Sweetfern and maybe some Eastern Red Cedars that will be planted by me. I have plenty of them that I can transplant and they're pretty much maintenance free. I'm more into the natural look for that portion of our property.

I'll throw in some pics for fun. The first is our camp site down there. The second is a clearing and turnaround about halfway between his house and ours, and the last one is looking toward his house from our end. His house and those pines are in the extreme background in the third picture. We really don't use the part of the road that his right-of-way is on much. Our driveway is off another road.

MarkintheGarden
03-13-2011, 06:57 PM
If I were you, I would let him keep his trees if he was willing to pay an arborist to evaluate them and provide maintenance advice. I think that you are right when you suggested taking some of them down and not pruning any of them.

Making friends with your neighbors is almost always worth the effort.

That looks like a very nice place to live!

nepatsfan
03-13-2011, 07:12 PM
I wouldn't mind taking a ride down either. I also want to see the look on this guys face. Leave the brush in a pile right behind his house too. Make a huge brush pile there so he has to look at it. better yet....some nice smelly compost.

Darryl G
03-13-2011, 07:36 PM
If I were you, I would let him keep his trees if he was willing to pay an arborist to evaluate them and provide maintenance advice. I think that you are right when you suggested taking some of them down and not pruning any of them.

Making friends with your neighbors is almost always worth the effort.

That looks like a very nice place to live!

I've given up trying to be friends with this guy. There's a lot I haven't said about my history with him, but suffice it to say he has no respect for me or my property.

It is nice here....nice to be able to take a half hour stroll out your back door without leaving your property. In fact I just got back from a walk with the dog. We have frontage along a small tidal river too with access to Long Island Sound. Great for canoe/kayak or a small motor boat.

Darryl G
03-13-2011, 07:47 PM
I wouldn't mind taking a ride down either. I also want to see the look on this guys face. Leave the brush in a pile right behind his house too. Make a huge brush pile there so he has to look at it. better yet....some nice smelly compost.

I'm gonna give him 30 days to do what he wants with them...unless he pisses me off again, lol.