How to kill a shrub/tree...?

tropicalfreak(z10b Ft Lauderdale)August 6, 2011

There are three Brazilian Peppers in the neighbors yard that are overgrown into the powerlines/cablelines/phonelines.

The trees/shrubs are touching the roof of the house now and the next door neighbors house as well. Our satellite service is bad because of this issue as well.

The house is rented out. The landlady lives in Boca but will never address the issue. So, how can I kill them. The house is boarded up in back and the tenant is never back there.

Called FPL they came out and would do nothing since the trees/shrubs aren't touching the top line which they say is there's. They said to call Comcast but Comcast is a joke. They played dumb and kept saying they would transfer me and the call would drop.

How can I kill these? It has been 5 yrs now dealing with these things.


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These invasive plants are tough to kill.

I would not do something like that without the owner's permission of course. And the problem you will have if you succeed is that then you will have a dead tree, which of course is a hazard should a high-wind come through. It could be uprooted and then end up damaging your house or your neighbor's house. So I would not leave it dead and standing so close to a house.

From all I have read, it is easier to cut down a live tree than to remove a dead tree, so I think you would be better off offering to pay to have the trees removed. You have to treat the stumps to prevent regrowth as you can see from that document above.

More links:

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 10:14PM
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postlethwait(10Lehigh Acres)

We just purchased a house in Lehigh Acres and both of the lots next to us are empty but tons of pepper bushes. My husband has been spraying them with a weed killer, last for 1 year. I don't know the name but look for something that kills for longer than a few weeks. We have managed to get them back about 2 feet. They were over our property and we then chop then down and put out for the garbage man. I know they are hard to kill. Am still trying to get all the new plants that keep coming up in out yard.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 10:15PM
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    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 10:22PM
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postlethwait - read this, it tells you how to do it but it looks like the cut has to be fresh.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 10:25PM
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If they are interfering with power lines, call the power company. They can get permission from the homeowner to cut them back. My mother had them come trim her pine trees once that were growing into the lines. They can't really go onto private property without permission, even though they have right-of-way to clear the lines.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 9:15AM
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He called the power company - FPL = Florida Power & Light - and they would do nothing since the trees weren't touching the top lines, which were the power lines. Comcast as usual is non-responsive since they have a monopoly and aren't sufficiently regulated.

It sounds like the issue is that the trees are interfering with his satellite dish. One other option he has is to file a nuisance claim against the owner in court to get her to trim her trees. I don't know how reliable this legal info is, but it sounds reasonable to me:

"Landowners are responsible for maintaining the trees on their property. Legally, they have two duties: make reasonable inspections and take care to ensure the tree is safe. Therefore, if a reasonable inspection shows that the tree could be dangerous, your neighbor is responsible for the tree removal. If your neighbor does not remove the dangerous tree, and the tree does in fact cause damage, your neighbor can be held liable.

If you have spoken to your neighbor about the tree issue, and he has not done anything about it you do have laws that protect you. The tree may constitute a nuisance, by interfering with your use and enjoyment of your own property. You could file a nuisance claim, and if the court finds that the true is a nuisance, the court may order the tree removed.

Hopefully, you will not have to go that far. Most cities have ordinances prohibiting property owners from keeping dangerous conditions on their property. If you call your municipality, they may remove the tree themselves or order your neighbor to do it."

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 10:10AM
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tropicalfreak(z10b Ft Lauderdale)

Thanks yumtomatoes. I will contact the city and see what they say.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 1:33PM
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Hurricane? no kidding Cliff I wish I had a camera now (its out of town with my daughter) to show you a picture of the crepe myrtle you gave me at a swap (Rickys?) its awesome and covered with blooms! I am back at work as of today and found the cotton seeds if you still want them let me know and I can put them in the mail


    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 11:00PM
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First you must actually contact the owner and explain the situation. If she refuses to take them out, you might try calling code enforcement, but they may not do anything. If the branches are over your property line you can trim the portion on your side of the property line.

Suing someone is not something you want to do in most cases unless you absolutely must. Are you willing to spend a good amount of money, time, and emotional energy on a lawsuit?

Do not do the thing that I think you want to do and go onto their property with some sort of chemical and try to kill the trees. If the tree dies and falls over onto your neighbor's house, well it isn't going to be pretty.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 11:27PM
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yes, that is the problem with killing trees that are close to houses - they become potential projectiles if a high-wind storm comes through. They can not only damage the structures, if humans are inside the house, they can be hurt/killed by a tree being uprooted and portions of it shattering windows.

You know, it is not all that expensive to have someone cut down a tree. For all you know, the owner may be happy to have the trees cut down if you are willing to split the cost with them. The Brazilian peppers are not only dirty trees, they are terrible for the environment down here.

I would try calling code enforcement as was suggested. There may be an applicable ordinance.

Suing someone is a last resort, no doubt, but if you can't watch TV, it may be worth it to you. You may be able to research the law sufficiently to file a claim yourself without having to hire a lawyer. Just depends on how much time you have to invest in researching the issues and of course, how able you are to understand the legal issues.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 6:39AM
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tropicalfreak(z10b Ft Lauderdale)

Got a big gust of wind from this storm this afternoon. The trees are bent over some. Might be easier to reach with ladder now. I had already trimmed them as high as the ladder could reach. I need an extension ladder.

Spoke with the neighbor beside us and she said the previous owner of the our house had the same problem with the trees. He would trim them himself, she said.

Thanks for everyone's suggestions and info.


    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 11:02PM
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I don't know if you have a Costco near you, but right now they have a nice ladder called the Little Giant at my Costco.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 11:44PM
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wisner_gw wisner

If you want to kill a branch, after you saw it off spray the cut surface with some undiluted roundup. That should kill the branch back.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 9:42PM
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Costco has the Roundup concentrate, too, lol! Can you tell I love Costco?

I can't remember how much it cost but you got the gallon size pump sprayer ready mixed to use and 2 of the concentrates. However much it cost I remember thinking what a great deal it was. I will never need to buy roundup again!

I don't know if they still have them, but if they do, it is a great deal.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 5:45AM
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I've got the same problem with a house in foreclosure next door. We actually went over one Sunday and cut and killed one tree (with the owner's permission - he said he couldn't care less, he wasn't about to maintain it.)
I wish we had just paid someone to come and clear his lot that day, because now he doesn't appear to be the owner and trying to get a bank to approve our little guerrilla gardening would be tougher. At this point, I'm just hoping for a friendly buyer who will come rip that pepper out.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 6:11PM
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