neighbor butchered my azalea hedges!

darbygurl(z7 VA)September 30, 2005

hi guys,

would love your opinions please.

my next door neighbors, without asking my permission or consulting w/me,

had someone cut 2-3 feet off the top of my mature azalea hedges that face their property and extend to the line of their driveway yesterday.

(the guy who did it also poured cement for them... so obviously not a gardener or sympathetic to plants by the looks of the hackjob). My house is on the market and I think that they thought it was their chance to whack them down the way they wanted to. They apparently thought their trucks and vehicles were restricted by my hedges, although they were vertically trimmed 3 weeks ago by my father and I a bit past my property line because the neighbor had left a message to please trim them. (these people have shrub issues... the neighbors on their other side have had hedge wars as well).

the azalea hedge runs the length of my house) has been topped off... it was approx. 5-6 feet tall and gave me some privacy from them, and now all my windows are exposed. Living in the city, there's not much space or privacy between neighbors.

Mostly what I see is the woody part now--will these azaleas come back with a vengeance in the spring and resume normal growth, or have these clods really hurt the plants?

My stomach has been in a knot... the lady is 95 yrs old and hard of hearing, and her older son has some emotional problems, and they just sort of do what they want to do, so I feel that I have to handle this carefully, but I'm most concerned about the azaleas;

any of your advice would be most appreciated, and thanks for listening and letting me vent.


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stevied(8b/9a FL)

I think they will quickly regain their former height next year. If they did a real hack job, perhaps you could to some final trimming to shape them up a bit for purposes of selling your property.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2005 at 9:30AM
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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

Consider feeding them some extra nitrogen in the form of hummus, compost, cottonseed meal, etc. Do this when you normally start feeding them in the Spring. Now it is too late to feed them nitrogen heavy fertilizers since you do not want tender shoots coming out as winter knocks on your door.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2005 at 4:29PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Maria, healthy azaleas respond well to pruning, you can even completely renew them be cutting to within a few inches of the ground (but let's not tell your neighbor that).

The only problem I see is pruning this late in the year (in a zone no more harsh than yours) has removed flower buds for next Spring, a better time to prune would have been immediately after flowering.

Hopefully the pruning won't look distracting to potential buyers, and you'll have neighbors it's possible to be on better terms with in your next location :) Let your stomach unknot and concentrate on packing...

    Bookmark   September 30, 2005 at 9:26PM
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darbygurl(z7 VA)

thank you so much everyone,
I really appreciate your sage advice for a novice!

right MorZ8, at least there's an attractive full bloom photo in the real estate flyer! guess that will have to entice the new owner to wait for the following spring (errr.. but I won't tell them that! ; ) ) thanks! stomach starting to unknot...
: )
thanks all! you are all great!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2005 at 12:16AM
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hluong(z7 VA)

I am thinking about planting an azaleas hedge. What is the name of the azaleas that form your hedge?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2005 at 4:59PM
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