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Neighbours and their trees

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[OP]
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Jul 17, 2008
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Neighbours and their trees

Anyone had some similar experience. Basically our neighbors have a plethora of trees, some of which they keep trying to rise them well above the fence. Besides taking sunlight from our majority of our windows which are on their side, the roots are also coming close to the house, of which there is already a crack.

Already dug that side of the yard to cut any roots that protruded. I also just cut any leafs on my side of the property that were expanding over the fence.

But anything I can do regarding their plant rising well above the fence? It's some sort of vine as well. It's hard without pictures I know... And I realise anything on their property line is pretty much SOL. Next I'm looking to maybe look to phone city and ask if I have options.

Worst case I'm thinking of bringing one of those mini escavators to get to all the roots and destroy them. That should give me several years to have the foundation of my house safe.
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Feb 11, 2007
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Don't think there's much more you can do other than poisoning it from your side, which is probably illegal and not recommended. Though chopping its roots is pretty similar and could cause it to fall back on your neighbour's lot.
You should also let people know what city you live in to get better info.
Tough situation, but maybe you can talk to your city's arborist for advice.
Last edited by engineered on Aug 22nd, 2017 12:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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engineered wrote: Don't think there's much more you can do other than poisoning it from your side, which is probably illegal.
1) he could talk to the neighbours
2) he could contact the city

I would be very careful with poisoning, imagine the trees falls on anyone or one of the houses, and it is discovered it was purposefully poisoned, I wouldn't want to be in OP shoes.

Pictures would help, I imagine they are doing it for privacy so perhaps the benefits may be there as well as drawbacks.
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Homerhomer wrote: 1) he could talk to the neighbours
2) he could contact the city

I would be very careful with poisoning, imagine the trees falls on anyone or one of the houses, and it is discovered it was purposefully poisoned, I wouldn't want to be in OP shoes.

Pictures would help, I imagine they are doing it for privacy so perhaps the benefits may be there as well as drawbacks.
I (perhaps wrongly) assumed he had tried talking to his neighbours already. I don't think the city will do anything in this case. I also don't recommend poisoning the tree, especially to the point it dies, but he could stunt its growth. He's also chopped out the roots, which is pretty close to the same thing, and would make it more likely to fall on his neighbour's lot. OP may be found liable, but he does have a valid concern about protecting his property.
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[OP]
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I'm actually thinking of spending my own money to get a stone fence. Current fence i think it's 5', with 1' see through and in pretty rough shape (pretty much 15 years old). I'll want to see how much that would cost.

If anything I'm thinking of just hammering some thin plywood on the fence to give them the "privacy", but that might look unsightly and not sure what the city might say, I'd have to call them. It would be on my side of the fence, so my property, but I'm sure it's not as just straight through. I mean I care about privacy just as much, but not at the expense of my house foundation. The space between the fence and the houses is maybe 3m at most.
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Feb 4, 2010
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If you think the tree roots are causing potential/real structural damage to your foundation, it might be a good idea to first get that assessed by a appropriate trades person and then talk to the neighbour and let me know the issue. If the roots are coming over to your side,most likely these trees are pretty old and might not even be planted by your neighbours. Maybe you can both split the costs of taking it down. Have you talked to them about it yet? If that doesn't work then I'd go to the city.

IF the concern is mainly above the fence - you can offer to pay for an arborist to prune the tree but other than that it's more of an aesthetic issue for you and I doubt you'll get anywhere with that.
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OP, if the roots are causing your foundation issues, then it's likely that your neighbour will have it even worse. Maybe you can talk him into removing them for that reason.
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Jan 15, 2004
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Either way, you will need to get an approval from the city to remove the tree. I'm sure you will need to prove that the roof is causing issues with the foundation. Best to get it assessed first and of course talk to your neighbor. Definitely do not just poison it from your side. As other said, huge liability if the tree falls and hit someone or the houses.
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golden wrote: Either way, you will need to get an approval from the city to remove the tree. I'm sure you will need to prove that the roof is causing issues with the foundation. Best to get it assessed first and of course talk to your neighbor.
1) not every municipality requires approvals to cut the trees
2) number one rule of RFD, do not talk to the neighbours ;-)

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