You.. you..Herbicidal Neighbor you!

This isn’t going to be a big fiery rant because I’m simply to stunned and mystified to be angry.

What on earth were you thinking. I mean really I can’t conceive of anyone actually thinking that they have the right to do what you did. Why on earth would you even momentarily entertain the idea that it would be perfectly legal and right to climb our fence, come into our yard, AND PROCEED TO CUT DOWN OUR 20 YEAR OLD RED TIP BUSHES?! When I say cut I don’t mean you trimmed them here and there I mean you basically took your electric trimmer and CUT OFF EVERY DAMN BRANCH!
Then when we ask you why you just murdered our bushes you tell us its city land so you can do it and they were blocking your garden’s light anyway. Yes, it is a city rightaway which means the city has a right to come into our yard to maintain the wires and the ditch that are accessed though that rightaway, but ITS STILL OUR PROPERTY! And your gardens they’ve been there in that spot for years and now all of a sudden light is an issue? Besides your gardens consist of plants grown in KIDDY POOLS and as such YOU CAN MOVE THE DAMN THINGS ANY WHERE IN YOUR YARD THAT YOU LIKE!! I know the bushes have got a little taller than normal lately however we were taking care of that and trimming them down as much as possible at a time without killing them and even if we were not YOU STILL HAVE NO RIGHT TO CUT EVERY BRANCH OFF THEM! We called the police, of course, and thankfully you happily explained to him how justified you were in doing it. He said that he was sure it was out land, but if it had been city land you’d have been fined for destruction of city property and would be in even more trouble. SO HA! I’d have loved to see your face at that moment. The one consoling fact I have to brighten this experience is that because we have trained my dog to mess exclusively under those bushes I can feel all warm and fuzzy knowing that as you butchered our shrubs you had to have completely fouled up your shoes. Oh, and if those bushes die you will be paying for them and because you have happily admitted your herbicide to several neighbors and a police officer I don’t think we will have any difficulty proving our case. So you have a good day now and hope we don’t file criminal trespass charges like the officer said we could.

I say file the charges. People came on your property and damaged, probably killed, your plants? Definitely file charges.

I’m a prick, there would be no ‘legal recourse’. I’d go by some Ortho vegetation killer that connects to the water house and then proceed to “water” everything on his side of the fence in the middle of the night.

Bastard. I’d definitely file charges-tresspassing and vandalism.

Yes, I’ll join the chorus. I’m mad enough at my neighbors for cutting down all the trees on THEIR property that also shaded ours (and in this climate, deep shade is a valuable commodity – I still don’t know what they were thinking!). But if they came onto MY property and touched MY bushes, I’d be filing every charge I could.

I like MeanJoe’s idea, too, though!

Press charges. Don’t let him get away with his selfish, illogical, inexplicable and illegal behavior. If he does, he’ll think that he can do it again.

I would plant the biggest tree you can buy and transplant where the bushes where. Make a big deal of watering and fertilizing it everyday. “Grow my precccccious”

Stupid should hurt.

Press charges.

Before you press charges, remember this guy is your neighbour - you’re stuck with him, unless you’re prepared to move to get away from him. While he did do something incredibly stupid, escalating the situation by pressing charges could create a bigger problem. If your plants die, then I’d pressure him for payment, but otherwise, ask yourself if you really want to start a feud with your next-door-neighbour.

Yes. Ask your neighbour to replace the bushes with similar ones. If he doesn’t, then press charges or take him to small-claims court.

Actually, what we’ve decided to do is to build a privacy fence along out back fence so that she (its a she the he in my first post was a typo) can’t climb over it to do it again. We’ll probably going to end up in court because the bushes will most likely die from the shock and this neighbor feels perfectly justified in what they did and still maintains its not our land. I say the bushes are doomed because we had them trimmed down three feet earlier this summer and wanted to do more, but were warned more would kill them and well this was A LOT more so I don’t have much hope. We wont press charges this time, but if she does this again we will.

I say press charges first, then tell your neighbor “well, if you’ll replace our bushes, I’m willing to drop the charges.” I think that will be far more effective than the other way around.

For this alone I think you should press charges, which would make it absolutley crystal clear who’s property it is, lest she try to claim adverse posession (as discussed in that thread) or a grandfathered use of what is actually your property at some point in the future.

Can she still claim this if our yard, which includes the bushes, is fenced in and have filed a complaint against her with the police?

From a gardening perspective, I doubt you can kill healthy red-tips by pruning them.

Given that these shrubs are highly susceptible to disfiguring and potentially fatal leaf-spot disease, dopey neighbor may have been doing you a sort of favor.

Still sounds like you have an excellent small claims court case against him if there’s no uniform regrowth.

I agree that you should take legal action. I would start with a certified letter demanding payment for the destroyed bushes. When that is ignored, file a suit in small claims court.

[slight hijack]
As for the adverse possession, I’ve never heard about it but I did a quick Google on it. It is interesting as heck.

Man gains 186 acres on bay by adverse possession
Understanding - And Avoiding - Adverse Possession
Depending on the laws of your state and how long the fence as been there, it might just be your property now.
[/slight hijack]

When I say she pruned them I don’t mean she cut off a few branches. She cut off every branch but one and that has cut marks in it like she was going to clip off that one too but got interrupted. Will the red-tips still survive with almost no leaves in high summer?

Time will tell, I guess.

If not, neighbor lady can finance your brand-new hedge.

Don’t defoliate the guy’s yard, fertilize it! This is something a guy mentioned that appealed mightily to me.

Buy some Miracle grow or similar. Wait till the middle of the night and fertilize his yard such that, in a week or so, he has some extremely rude statement in dark green against a lighter background. These would be in meter-high letters. If the yard can be seen from the road, the phrase; “FUCK THE COPS” or “COPS SUCK” should do the trick nicely. Of course, if he’s religious or it is a religious neighborhood, many other opions suggest themselves.

To get rid of this, he has to fertilize the remainder of the yard and wait for it to grow out or cover it up with something.

Mind you, he may not be able to prove it but he’s going to know you did it. S


IANAL, but since there currently isn’t a fence, I would think that adverse posession might be a bit tougher for her to claim. If you were to put up a fence, I would go with a nice 6 foot, blot-out-the-sun-kill-a-garden type privacy fence. Then, if she is still convinced that it is not your land, it would be up to her and her expenses to hire a surveyor to find out what you already know. This would have the added benefit of having her mission of sun for her garden completely and efficiently backfiring due to her own pigheadedness. I can think of no better solution to your problem. Plus, you’d never have to look at the bitch again.