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Neighbours - omg

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Please move this if I’m not in the correct place.  I have fab neighbours until a couple moved in next door. We live in a terraced house, a small row of houses with open gardens. He told me (he’s quite territorial) he was planting conifers between me and them. I’m quite frightened of him so I only said ok. He has planted them EXACTLY on the border so 50% of the tree is in my garden, 50% his. They’re about 8” high at the moment. I know what their roots can do. I don’t like them and that would not be my choice. What are my options to keep them their side or do I just suck it up? Thank you. 
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  • mollycatmollycat Forumite
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    Please move this if I’m not in the correct place.  I have fab neighbours until a couple moved in next door. We live in a terraced house, a small row of houses with open gardens. He told me (he’s quite territorial) he was planting conifers between me and them. I’m quite frightened of him so I only said ok. He has planted them EXACTLY on the border so 50% of the tree is in my garden, 50% his. They’re about 8” high at the moment. I know what their roots can do. I don’t like them and that would not be my choice. What are my options to keep them their side or do I just suck it up? Thank you. 
    Don't agree to stuff because you're frightened; you need to be assertive and stand up for yourself, if you don't it's a green light for this guy to do anything he wants. (and he will)
    I can't tell you how I addressed an (attempting to be ) bullying neighbour of mine who destroyed my property when I was away on holiday, as I would be flamed on here and possibly banned.
     Suffice to say they have avoided us for the past 2 years, go inside on a nice day when we go out and have stopped other anti-social nonsense such as filling my elderly neighbours bin in the middle of the night, and parking over that same lady's drive continuously. 
    No big deal; the point of the (cool), story, (bro), is to highlight the power of assertiveness in those who are predisposed to a more passive mindset. :)
    Your options IMHO are,
     1. Tell the neighbour you no longer wish his conifers on your property. 
    2. Make him aware you will trim the conifers on your side of the boundary, (as you still would if he had planted them inside his own property when they eventually encroached).
    3. Advise him you have a full understanding of th High Hedge Act (google it), and you would seek local authority involvement once his conifers breach it's conditions, ( assuming they will form a hedge that  becomes over 2m tall).
    4. Get someone to support you doing all or some of the above.
    You are right to worry about conifers, particularly if they are a quick growing variety; better dealt with now whilst they are more esily resited by your neighbour.
    Good luck; you have my sympathy.
  • lovehedgehogslovehedgehogs Forumite
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    thank you very much. I’m a single lady and he’s very unpleasant. I avoid him because he’s horrid and I’m not great with confrontation 😶
  • greenbeegreenbee Forumite
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    On the plus side, a conifer hedge means you'll see less of him. 

    If you don't want do talk to him, drop him a note saying that while you had no objection to him planting a conifer hedge, this should be within the boundary on his side to allow room for growth. As it is, they encroach on to your property, and he will need to relocate them within the boundary. 

    Could you put a fence or some trellis up on your side of the boundary just to reinforce the point?
  • lovehedgehogslovehedgehogs Forumite
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    I could get a fence put up but firstly it will cost me and I don’t have a huge amount of money and second if I had a fence put up those conifers are on the boundary line and I would have to come in - and I just see that he has got what he wanted by bullying and intimidating me. 
  • mollycatmollycat Forumite
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    As ever @Davesnave's advice is spot on. Just to add for my earlier advice for context; I have just dug out 4 enormous Leylandii stumps.....trees that used to be tiny that turned into monsters. Given the type of conifers your neighbour has planted they will have the potential to grow very big and encroach several feet into your space,  (if he has planted them closely together this may mitigate this somewhat, and @Davesnave's idea of the concrete trench will limit/slow the root spread).
    I know it is very anxiety provoking to deal with someone who is physically intimidating; I would encourage you to find a way of managing to get these plants moved though as there is the potential of feeling a whole lot worse, (and a beating up from your future self), when the consequences of agreeing to this comes home to roost.
    I realise the above advise may make you feel anxious, i'm sorry for that, I'm reluctant to make you feel even worse than you do. Again, good luck.
  • lovehedgehogslovehedgehogs Forumite
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    thank you all so very much. Yes I’m sure of the boundary. It’s a terraced house so very easy to see. @Davesnave can I ask a question - if I put in concrete (my brother suggested the same) how deep would it have to go to prevent the roots creeping onto my side? And/or is it enough to keep my border dug and keep chopping off the roots?  I have NEVER EVER had a neighbour dispute before! 
  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    Going down to paving slab depth gives you about 40cm below ground and 7cm above if you let the slab form a boundary marker. It's quite a task, but could be done in stages. The presence of the slab means using less concrete as it's just keeping them in place. The slab's presence also means the trees will be starved of nutrients on that side, slowing them down, especially if you keep trimming them back. o:)
    None of us know how high Matey wants the trees to grow, but if he tops them out at around 7' they'll be easier for him to manage and not much of a problem. Also, in trimming them, you could make mistakes and help him to decide. ;) Much depends on whether he's a plant and forget type, or one of those fussy sorts who often have 'control' as part of everything they do. 
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  • mollycatmollycat Forumite
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    Hope you don't mind a few more thoughts?..:)
    I wonder how long you intend to live at your house; this is relevant in terms of impact. 
    @Davesnave's trench will delay but not stop roots heading your way......but maybe the delay will be adequate. I've just dug a bed in the opposite bed of my garden to the sumps, (?30ft or 40ft) and found thick root from the opposite direction.
    Topping at 7ft would be good, (if he does that. ) If it's you rather than him that's losing the sun will he do that, presumably he will have thought that aspect through before deciding to plant. Even if he tops at 7ft you will be doing a lot of pruning to the side growth and you'll find it difficult to plant anything.
    On the very slim chance he hasn't realised how much sunlight (if any) his garden might be losing, could this be a starting point for persuading him the current location is a bad idea? 
  • twopennytwopenny Forumite
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    Sinking paving slabs upright is a great idea and your border would survive behind if it can tollerate the shade from the trees. It's what I'm having to do becuse of the numerous drains around my garden. You possibily couldn't do it on the boundary line if that's where he has planted the trees.
    If you want to pour concrete you could always tell him you are doing it to make a patio because the shade of the trees is lovely on a hot day. Later if questioned you can say you changed your mind :)

    The only normal people you know are the ones you don’t know very well

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