Neighbors Leyland Cypress

elaine1958April 23, 2014

I'm in Knoxville tn and an avid gardener . Several years ago Our neighbor planted a row of Leyland Cypress trees 1 foot from the property line and about 2-3 ft apart. They are now at least 5-7 ft across our property. Not only is mowing impossible but to make matters worse I've now lost 2 rows of gardening space from the branches. Also Last year several of the trees had bag worms and I actually found some bag worms growing on my red peppers plants that were closest to it.
My husband tried calmly talking to the neighbor who immediately got upset - raised his voice and wouldn't talk about it. Any suggestions?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

In most locations, the law allows you to prune off any parts of a neighbor's tree which cross the property line! So find out where you stand legally. The trimmed hedge would look pretty ugly from your side, but you'd have your space back.

How wide is your yard? What percentage have you lost the use of? How much wider will the lost area be in another 3 or 4 years?

Note that the Leylands will continue to grow at the same yearly rate they've been growing thus far. Also, their roots extend over the property line about as far as their branches, and so steal moisture from the plants in your yard.

Your lawyer might have some advice.

[My neighbor planted Leylands along the northern edge of his property, which is my southern boundary. After 15 or 20 years, they're ... well, tall enough to shade the southern 60' of my property all winter. There isn't often enough snow to matter, but when there is, it lasts for 2 months in the shade of the hedge, and the earth beneath that snow remains frozen. That's the southern 30-50% of my property (the width varies).

The neighbor in question has a golf course. The alternative to shade would be even more golf balls than I have now. But I fantasize that he'll go out of business and I can buy the 25' adjacent to my property and put up a mixed hedge of flowering shrubs.]

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 11:02AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wasn't there a thread very recently in the trees forum about this exact scenario? (I think they were even Leyland Cypress, too!).

Yes--linked below!


Here is a link that might be useful: Neighbor Tree Thread

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 10:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Leylands can be a problem in many places, but they can be especially problematic around here because of pests and disease. The 1' spacing from the property line is ridiculous. It sounds like the neighbor is either very naive about the issues or is just a jerk and doesn't care...bad either way.

Unless you live in an area with an HOA, I don't know what a good solution would be in this situation. Unless the trees are damaging something on your property (which they probably aren't, yet), I don't think there is much you could do legally to get the trees removed. And, like Missingtheobvious said, pruning back hard to the property line is going to result in a serious aesthetic problem for your side.

The bagworms might be your best legal bet. I don't know if there is a way to encourage them or not (and I know that sounds horrid), but they may be on your side in the dispute. Unfortunately, as you noted, they are not going to be good for your plants.

There are a variety of less legal solutions, but they could possibly get you in trouble if the neighbor found out that you were trying to kill the trees.

I think I know how you feel, but I'm afraid there may not be a great solution. All I know to do is wish you luck!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 9:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
midtn(7a TN)

Spray the tree and enjoy the privacy. Unless you have a very tiny lot to me it isn't a big deal. If your lot is really small what do you expect?. You will have neighbor problems on a small lot.

Or cut the tree back to the trunk to get your space back. Trees on or near lot lines are too common to involve lawyers and such.

Did you talk to the neighbor about it? He may be tired of the tree. Offer to pay to have it removed.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 9:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
maternut(7 west tn)

All limbs hanging on my property, just could accidentally get sprayed with Round Up.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 6:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

I would email you city/town and find out the rules (email so you have a record) and if you can cut at the property line do it

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 7:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gregbradley(Upland, CA USDA 9b Sunset 19)

I know this thread is a couple months old but I just ran across it looking for info on Leyland Cypress.

There is much variation across the county in the laws regulating this problem so you should carefully determine the law in your jurisdiction, BUT:

Almost all areas have a law that limits the height of a fence/wall on the property line.......AND a hedge of any plant is a fence/wall in many jurisdictions.

If my neighbor did this, I could call Code Enforcement and they would make him cut it back to the property line and top it at 6'6". This might seem extreme but it does force a misbehaving property owner into coming to agreement with his neighbors. This seem mostly like a good thing, as they would only enforce this when the affected neighbor complains.

For example, one neighbor of mine has Hollywood Junipers on his side of our shared wall along 125'. He has his gardener trim them after we agree on the height. He always tells me the day they will be trimmed in case I want to be there for anything special. I like "my" side to have that twisted/tortured Hollywood Juniper look and he likes his side to be a a solid rectangle. Isn't this the way it is supposed to work?

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 12:44PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Japanese Maple Autumn Moon
I would like to know if anyone knows of a nursery in...
Japanese Beetle traps & Milky Spore?
I think I read a post on one of the rose forums where...
questions from new TN gardener
I'm not a new gardener but new Z7, southwest TN. Will...
Pollinator habitat
I live in Virginia, but I am installing a pollinator...
Growing Grapes in Tennessee
In hopes of getting some conversation going in our...
brandon7 TN_zone
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™