Could use some advice with fruit trees.

pitcom(7a)June 14, 2012

I was hoping to get some advice from anyone who has dealt with a problem like mine before. First off, I would like to show an aerial shot of my property from my back deck. I built a raised bed garden several years ago near the back of my property. I, do not see anything wrong with my garden, and would never get rid of it. Here is a picture of some of it. These were the original wooden beds I built, on the left side of the property which you cannot see, is where i have built a large blueberry area and cinder block raised beds.

Here is my problem. My neighbors hate my garden, and 3 of them have banded together to do something about it. My neighbors have purchased close to 50 leyland cypress trees to block my property by creating a natural fence. They also tried to get my township to force me to remove the garden on grounds that raised beds are permanent structures. I told them to get lost and they have not bothered me since i recited to them the Pennsylvania Right to Farm Act.

Now, I have 10 apple trees, 8 plum trees, 4 apricot trees and 4 fog trees. My apple trees were growing amazingly well, until about a month ago. Curiously around 6 weeks ago is when my neighbors planted their cypress trees. They also planted their trees right up against the fences which is only 11 feet away from half of my apple trees, 2 apricots and 3 plums. Now all of my fruit trees closest to the cypress trees are all being severely stressed by tons of insects that appear to be living in the trees the bought. My apple trees now all have apple-cedar rust on them. I understand they bought their trees from a nursery, and i doubt they were infected, but now I have spent all this money buying organic trees and preparing the area, just to have me neighbors plant trees which could pontentially severely hinder them.

Not only am I worried about the disease aspect, I am now worried about how quickly these trees grow and how much sunlight they are now going to block from my garden. As it stands, i get full sunlight all day long. However, if these trees get 16-20 foot tall (they can grow up to 4 feet a year), they are going to shade my property until the sun gets high enough in noon. However, during the early spring months, when the sun is low, these trees if 20 foot would shade my growing area for most of the day. I spent a lot of time building my cinder block hoop houses which would be effected by this.

Do I not have solar rights? Does anyone know what your rights are concerning. I understand people should be able to do what they want with their property, as long as it does not damage someone elses. In Pennsylvania if you have solar panels, your neighbor cannot have trees, nor plant trees that block your sunlight, they are called solar rights. Does anyone know if this applies to food production? I spent a lot of time on this property, utilizing and planning to produce the majority of my food that i eat. I bought my parents house which burnt down to the ground 4 years ago and was rebuilt. I would hate to have to move because my neighbors are doing this.

So i guess to sum it up, are my fruit trees doomed? Is my garden doomed? Does anyone have any advice? I know its going to take a few years for these trees to grow, but I am seriously bummed out thinking about it now. One other interesting point, is that we have a 6 foot fence law in my township. No barrier between properties used for fencing may be greater than a height of 6 feet. To me, planting all of those trees is a natural fence, and they would need to be maintained at 6 feet.

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ltilton

You have a nice garden and evil neighbors, but I think you may be SOL. Better consult a lawyer.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 9:31AM
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mrsg47(7)

Leyland Cyprus are the worst. They are used to build 'Spite' fences here and in England. That is just what your neighbors have done. They can grow up to four feet a year, BUT they have very shallow root systems and can be blown down if you're in and area that has hurricanes or strong winds. Perhaps if you put in inexpensive 'bamboo' fencing over the wire fencing around your property YOUR privacy and theirs might be solved. There are laws against 'spite' fences.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 9:51AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

I would have put up a fence. A tall wood one or a row of arborvitae around the entire property.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 11:31AM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

We feel your pain

Our neighbors let a bird planted Ca Oak start, they are on the city side of the line, we are in the county. Those oaks are highly protected.

It has almost all of the massive growth on our side of the fence and has destroyed an antique horse stall, favorite apricot and several other fruit trees.

We could probably apply for permits to prune, pay for an arborist etc....but, because of the lack of thought in planting I am afraid of liability when the tree splits in half and takes out both of their rentals. So are not touching it.

The condo association on another side did the same kind of thing, planted giant fir trees to block the view of our old house. Granted at the time my dad and the developer where having issues and my dad was not in to maintenance... But we now have a long section of the lot that is in heavy shade. They also over water their lawn massively, they have their own well, so our plum seem to rot before they ripen-they are close to the property line.

On the plus side, our blueberries like the fir needles and extra water. And where they skipped the firs, we put in a citrus grove that can enjoy some free lawn water once they get bigger.

Our Veggie garden is right in the middle of our lower yard and new fruit trees are being put in where we control the water and the sunlight (well other than the new citrus grove)

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 11:52AM
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capoman(5a)

This, is the exact type of activity that drove me out of the city and into a rural area. I really disliked neighbors that thought it was their right to control everyone else around them. If I was you, and I have been you, I'd move. Better then a perptual fight with neighbors and lawyers. Best move I made. I do commute to work, but it's worth it. No prying eyes, and I do with my land what I want.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 2:52PM
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spartan-apple

Sorry to feel your pain. I know how you feel. Many years ago I helped a friend plant grapevines along the west edge of his property. A few years later he had some really nice
grape crops. The home was in a city.

The next year his neighbor to the west sold the home. The new neighbor had a row of 10' spruce planted on the edge of
his property thus shading out my friends grapes.

Sour grapes! So much for neighborly love.

I now live in the city. My Neighbor complains about my compost pile! I came home one day and was informed by his wife that he went onto my property and hauled my compost away to the town dump for me. Was I pis*ed! They said it
smelled and was unsightly.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 12:44PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Fences fences fences...or rows of arborvitae... Pick one. Its the only way to please neighbors (block their view)...

Your yard looks pretty clean to me...your neighbors are yard Nazis. I'd consider moving or parking a huge camper in your driveway and letting in-laws live in it.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 1:19PM
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olympia_gardener(5)

Your garden looks very nice and in good order. I wish mine can look as look as yours. You have evil neighbor who wants everyone else lives the life the way they do. These type of people, no matter what you do, will not please them. They live boring life.

If they grow these trees as fence, there got be some height limit. Check with you local township , make few buddies in advance. When these cypress trees grow bigger, their branches might be over your property line too .

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 2:03PM
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ribs1

I think your yard looks fantastic. I have also had these kinds of problems in the past. I decided to move but not only for that reason. I am enjoying the country life style now on my 3 acres. Neighbors seem to get along much better when there is plenty of room between houses.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 1:11AM
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