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Monday, April 16, 2018

Those Darn Invasive Neighbors (Plants)


I saw this Non Sequitir piece and I had to laugh, loudly.

I've worked on many of these issues, yes, with climbing vines and ivies, but more so with shrubs and tree branches.

My theory, or practice rather, is, if the plant's trunk (main stem) is in your yard it is your responsibility and the same goes for your neighbor. And, if a branch or stem crosses (encroaches) your property line, then you have the right to prune it back to your property line.

I have yet to see a customer's neighbor get up in arms with any of my methods or practices, but there is some S.C. legal statute which deals with "willfully and maliciously injuring" a neighbor's plant. Most pruning, even not-so-proper pruning, is not going to cause severe injury or death to a plant. And, "willfully and maliciously" is an entirely different issue.

The bad part about simply cutting back branches or stems at the property line, particularly for trees, is that you will probably always be simply cutting back branches or stems at the property line. It would be nice to know your neighbor or speak with them about making a proper pruning cut on their side for a branch which has no other future than to cross into your property, particularly if it is a property or personal safety hazard. Plus, simply cutting back at the property line usually means more dense and muddled branches and foliage in the future or another dying branch stub to look at while you are sippin' tea or mint juleps on your back porch.

I have conferred with plenty of my customer's neighbors and sometimes the third party conversation is a benefit to the home owner.

And, I have also had neighbors decide together about what to do with a shared overgrown border and they have shared the cost in some fashion.

The worst cases are usually those back property lines where one or both property owners just let things go for several years. I have seen some neighbors to the rear whom I presume couldn't care less about what happens along their property lines and the problem with these neighbors is my customers usually don't even know who they are or have even see them - there's no way they could have ever.

After taking Back40 to providing proper pruning and care of not just shrubs and trees, but restoring lawns and creating new plant beds and installing some interesting hardscapes and pathways, this is where it all began...

...in the back forty and along the borders of properties, taken caring of, eliminating or restoring what went wrong, perhaps the unwanted encroaching growth from a neighbor's property.

Currently, three of our largest projects are dealing with what's taking place along the borders and property lines. Some are for the homeowner wanting to restore their property and enjoy it for many years to come, while others are to prepare the property for sale.

We have staged (prepped) home's landscapes for sale, but many have to be brought back (restored) to a state for which the owner or reseller can even begin to imagine putting them on the market.

And, these aren't all run-down properties. Many are in neighborhoods where the front yard is to be maintained and showcased; however, the back yard has been neglected for quite some time. We are currently working on a gorgeous property with a back forty which has twenty years of uncontrolled growth.

We love to work with those whom see their home as their final home because, over time, we get to see the progress and enjoy the results, those they (we) will enjoy for years to come. But, we all have different considerations, realities and schedules for our properties.

We will, but have yet to find one we can't address.

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