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To be furious that a sneaky neighbour has butchered two of the prettiest trees in my garden?

(72 Posts)
MaBumble Mon 01-Apr-13 01:02:22

Our front garden has a lawn, a path that allows about 5 of our neighbours access to their back garden through a small locked side gate and a narrow path down the side of our house. There is a line of trees and bushes and a hedge cut by the council that separates it from the street. It's a end corner plot and other than the path is completely fenced off and private. They have right of access. Although most tend not to use it as we can all easily access our back garden through our garages, which have back doors.

One of the pine trees had a lovely cyclamen over lower branches that hangs over the path, and there is a lilac tree that also hangs over the path. I trim these back every year but have been waiting for the snow to bugger off!

Yesterday I came back from a last minute Easter egg hunt and spotted the same bastard had hacked the lower branches off the pine tree off - right to the trunk, and cut the cyclamen stem a couple of feet from the base. They also butchered the lilac tree. By cutting all the branches off on the path side. I'm gutted, and furious. Neither was blocked the path, you might have had to duck a bit. If they'd asked or left a note I would have explained I was sorting it out. It looks a bloody mess.

I have no proof which neighbour it was (although have a pretty good idea)
AIBU to want to 'accidentally' break the lock on the gate and they can bring their sodding lawn mower out through their garage? We've been here 7 years and have had no issues but I could honestly slap them stupid!

CocacolaMum Mon 01-Apr-13 01:10:08

Get a super soaker and fill it with weedkiller and then shoot a pretty pattern onto their lawn. That's what elvis would do.

MaBumble Mon 01-Apr-13 01:12:11

Don't tempt me smile
I was th

MaBumble Mon 01-Apr-13 01:18:21

I was thinking of putting a laminated note on the gate pointing out that it is private property, not a shared path and they have right of access only. Also that's its actually criminal damage.
I don't want to start any neighbour wars (well I do, but we still have to live here) I just don't want them to do it again.

The tree butchering wankers!

SquinkieBunnies Mon 01-Apr-13 02:27:07

I think the laminated sign is a good idea. Remind them they are on private property and only have right to pass through not do the gardening. If you know for sure who did it, I would say something to them, if you don't they will take it as a sign that they did nothing wrong.

MaBumble Mon 01-Apr-13 02:44:50

Thanks for your reply, I was going to pop a note through everyone's door, but that runs the risk of the nice ones feeling falsely accused. The laminated note will only be read by the people who do walk through my garden. The main suspect is so nosey I think he wheels his lawn mower round just so he can have a good look around.
Still want to get my own back though!
I'm sat up in bed contemplating sneaking out and looking through everyone's garden bins for proof, as they did it while I was out and removed the evidence. Insomnia induced madness I know smile

Jux Mon 01-Apr-13 02:47:20

I would ask - pleasantly - all the neighbours who use ghe path if they know anything about it. With any luck the tree-butchering bastard will be lulled into a false sense of security and own up, perhaps expecting thanks from you (perhaps you could be just coming back from shops clutching a bottle of wine which they might think is the reward you want to give them grin ). Then you can tell him he actually had no right to do it and that it could be criminal damage and ask him to leave your gardens alone?

Jux Mon 01-Apr-13 02:51:59

Or wander round them all, asking pleasantly, but this time to warn them that you are going to put security cameras up as you want to catch the vandals (pretend there've been other things, but keep it vague) ....

Or make a sad-looking scarecrow, prop it up against the fence with a sign saying "who tried to kill my trees? Information gratefully received" grin OK, not entirely serious with that one.

MaBumble Mon 01-Apr-13 03:07:32

Am loving the sad scarecrow idea grin

I may actually use that, and plonk it right in the middle of the path smile

I'm also contemplating not cutting back the (very thiorny) climbing roses along the wall ... Although, maybe not as they are lovely too and wouldn't want to risk them being butchered. I am going to put a lock on my tap though. He can lug water around from his own house, or run a hose pipe from his bathroom.
My drive is shared (with a nice neighbour) and we have a good system worked out so that we can both park and not block each other in, without parking on the street where the (suspected) bastard tree butcher parks. I may have a chat with her and suggest we stop juggeling cars and just take turns parking in the street ... Or would that be a bad idea?

Jux Mon 01-Apr-13 04:03:36

I think it would be fun to park on the street. So much easier getting out, doncha know! You'd have to have some sort of system worked out in case he got the space first though.

Jux Mon 01-Apr-13 04:07:25

Yes to lock on tap. No more favours.

I wonder if they make blow-up cars, you know, like those blow-up passengers they had in the States. You could put the blow-up car there when you're out. I expect you rig up a remote so it inflates as you drive off and deflates as you get back. If they don't do them already, you should invent one.

Longdistance Mon 01-Apr-13 04:11:11

Just put a note through all your neighbours doors reminding them, that its access only, and you're angry at whoever butchered your tree should not be gardening on your property.

anonymosity Mon 01-Apr-13 04:40:14

I would too be extremely upset - but isn't there some legal loop hole that they can chop stuff that hangs over "communal" areas.

I agree YANBU and they've clearly gone about it in a butchery way and should not have done so, but I don't know that there's much you can do.

I would be tempted to ask the citizens advice bureau and take it from there, formally rather than get into note sending. Notes always end badly....

sparkle12mar08 Mon 01-Apr-13 08:18:21

In all honesty you shouldn't have allowed it to get to the point where the over hang was so bad that people have to duck. That's what's caused someone to do it themselves. Even if not ideal pruning conditions you should have cut them back before. Ask around by all means and express your disappointment, but be prepared to be told its your own fault for not keeping the access properly open.

LatteLady Mon 01-Apr-13 08:36:08

Where are you getting Giant Cyclamens from... they are usually about 6 - 9" tall.

If someone has cut back overhanging branches, then legally they must return them to you. Who owns the access path?

microserf Mon 01-Apr-13 08:36:32

Hmm, I was going to say you were being unreasonable but then realised it was overhanging on your own land. I think the neighbour should have come to se you. The sign is a good idea.

soupmaker Mon 01-Apr-13 08:46:09

I'm with Sparkle on this. I agree that it is very annoying that someone has butchered your trees but I suspect you might not get a great deal of sympathy if you start an inquestition amongst the neighbours. Presumably you took on the house knowing about the right of access.

lunar1 Mon 01-Apr-13 08:50:13

I would be really cross. My neighbour just chopped down 3 huge lilac trees they were beautiful. I can't complain though they were his and just overhanging our garden.

500internalerror Mon 01-Apr-13 08:50:36

If its a right of way, you are obliged to keep it free of growth so it is fully accessible. Having said this, it's been winter for months ffs - I don't think it's at all unreasonable not to have pruned!

Are you sure all the neighbours actually know its a right of way on private property?

MaBumble Mon 01-Apr-13 14:32:05

Afternoon all, the path is ours, the over hanging branches could be walked under. I'm 5'7 and didn't have to duck, my 6ft husband did..
And I honestly didn't have a pe

I've just had. a chat with nice next door, who is also upset as apparently her Mum who has passed away is responsible for a lot of us

MaBumble Mon 01-Apr-13 14:37:04

Argh stupid phone
Didn't have a problem with the right of access

...her mum gave a lot of the established plants to her neighbours, including our roses, the cyclamen, etc.

I think I'm going to go for a restrained laminated note on the gate. Although am feeling very Vlad Tepesh ....

AbuseHamzaMousseCake Mon 01-Apr-13 14:50:20

Cyclamen on a pine tree????? I think you have got the names mixed up as cyclamens are not climbers!

MaBumble Mon 01-Apr-13 14:52:36

Lol, sorry - you are right, clematis!
Hey , they both begin with a 'c' and are pretty - right ? smile

BullieMama Mon 01-Apr-13 14:56:02

I'm all of us gardeners have worked out the plant is probably a clematis grin

montmartre Mon 01-Apr-13 14:56:54

I think we're discussing clematis!

But whatever do you mean about your neighbour's mum????

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