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WIBU to take plant material from someone's property overhanging the road

(15 Posts)
Fink Mon 28-Nov-16 12:27:02

I need to make an Advent wreath for church. There's a house on the way which has a huge variegated holly tree which overhangs onto the pavement. I've tried ringing the doorbell to ask whether it would be ok to snip some holly off with my secateurs, but no one's answered. I've been round twice - once in the day and once in the evening. It is an obviously lived-in house. I don't live in the immediate area so they're not my near neighbours, it's just a random house on the way between home and church.

WIBU to snip some bits off without permission? I wouldn't have to enter their property or take any of the holly on their side of the fence, just cut some bits which are hanging on the public side.

I am interested in both the legality and the cheekiness/rudeness of it. I can't decide whether it would be considered 'normal' behaviour by a majority or not. I certainly would have no problem with the gp taking bits of my ivy which overhang our wall, provided no damage was done etc. but I don't know if this is the general view.

DoNotBlameMeIVotedRemain Mon 28-Nov-16 12:31:56

Pop a note through the door with your mobile on? When you chop off a ranch overhanging in your garden you're supposed to return to neighbour so suspect you're not really supposed to take it away without agreement.

BreconBeBuggered Mon 28-Nov-16 12:55:51

How much is it overhanging? I have neighbours whose overgrown branches are genuinely a nuisance and hazard to passers-by, and I often fantasize about giving them a good casual chop when nobody's looking. However, as a holly owner, taking bits without permission seems beyond cheeky to me. If I wanted to lop off usefully decorative bits, I could sell them at the car boot sale, but I choose to leave them as they are.

lougle Mon 28-Nov-16 12:57:21

Legally, if you prune someone's overhanging bush, you have to return the pruned bits to them. So it is stealing. You need to ask permission.

GazingAtStars Mon 28-Nov-16 13:00:32

It's a badly pruned holly tree....I'd probably just snip a bit off bit it depends how much you need, if it's armfuls it's cheeky, if it's a couple of sprigs they're hardly going to miss it. It'll grow back anyway.

If not put a note through the door with your phone number on. That's what you should probably do.

MaidOfStars Mon 28-Nov-16 13:31:28

I think the note is a good idea. And to really head off any bad feeling, could you make a wreath for them?

KittensWithSuperpowers Mon 28-Nov-16 13:33:44

Stealing to make the church wreath?


BarbarianMum Mon 28-Nov-16 13:37:51

I would but then scrumping for advent wreath greenery is a bit of a tradition in my family blush Vegetation that obstructs the pavement should be cut back anyway so you'd be doing them a favour.

《It is cheeky, yes》

MargotLovedTom Mon 28-Nov-16 13:38:28

I think it's unlikely they'd even notice, and a prickly plant overhanging a public path is a nuisance anyway.

Cherylene Mon 28-Nov-16 13:38:53

I have a variegated holly in the front garden, that the birds seem to be ignoring - usually gone by now.

Does the bell work?

Just put a not through and ask. I would be well pissed off if someone from my local church just hacked a lump off angry but would probably get my ladder out and get a bit off if they asked.

Bluntness100 Mon 28-Nov-16 13:40:39

I'd do it, and I have loads of over hanging ivy etc, I'd have no issue if I saw someone doing the pruning for me, in fact I'd probably offer them a cup of tea. I'm not sure of the note, if someone put a note through my door I'd prob ignore it in case it was some crazy that I was inviting into my life

KurriKurri Mon 28-Nov-16 13:45:12

Knock on their door and ask.

If someone asked me I'd happily let them snip bits of my plants (used to have a couple who took bits of my privet hedge to feed stick insects).

I'd be mildly irritated (though not apoplectic) if someone just helped themselves as it is a bit rude.

Fink Mon 28-Nov-16 14:09:42

Thanks all, it seems that a note through the door if they don't answer next time might be the best bet. I had thought of it, but like Bluntness I thought it probably wouldn't work as if I got a similar note through my door I'd think 'weirdo, why didn't they just take a bit?!' and I'd give it 50/50 whether I'd send them a text in reply or not. Anyway, if you all think that it's a good idea then I guess not everyone is as unkind as me (thank goodness) so I'll give it a go.

I'm a bit battle scarred after last year when a bloke started shouting abuse at me for allegedly stealing all the good pretty holly with berries and leaving none for him to look at (it was overgrowing from the front of a disused building on his dog walking route). I tried to call out as he strode off that the ones in the middle with no berries were male bushes so they never produced any berries but it wasn't very pithy as a comeback.

IcedVanillaLatte Mon 28-Nov-16 14:16:14

People took enough sprigs off our small newly-planted holly bushes that they died.

People plant hollies because they want to look at the pretty berries, not a load of savaged branches. They're not there that long and it's galling when someone just takes them.

If it's causing an obstruction, call the council if you must (a pavement near us is impassable due to a hulking and aggressive holly bush) but it's very unpleasant to just go nicking people's stuff cause you want it for yourself.

Oysterbabe Mon 28-Nov-16 14:19:01

I'd give them another knock and if no one's home snip away then run like hell.

I have a massive holly bush on my allotment and it's a pain the in arse. I'd encourage anyone to take it all.

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