Wednesday, April 25, 2007


It seems there's one of them in every neighborhood, the person who is referred to as "that neighbor."

I just read Kate's blog about hers -- she's being very civilized just going with wind chimes. I think I'd put out moose food and hope the bugger got trampled. What the heck, I'll fantasize about it for her. Stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp...

My that neighbor is on a pogrom against trees. One of the first conversations I had with her when I moved in involved her explaining to me why I should cut down all of the trees in my yard. The tallest greenery in her yard is grass. The only greenery in her yard is grass. She doesn't even mow it herself, she has a service.

I declined to remove my trees telling her that I liked trees, that they provide homes for the birds, shade in the summer, sucked up carbon dioxide and pollutants and gave us back oxygen. She was not impressed.

The summer before we took down the Normandy poplars, I walked into my back yard one afternoon and realized immediately that there was a strange man up in the locust tree. Scared the beejeebers out of me. But I've never been called a coward, a fool, yes, a coward never, so I puffed myself up, strode over to the tree he was lurking in and said in my biggest voice (and let me tell you, I know how to project), "Who the hell are you and what are you doing in my tree?"

Scared him so badly he almost fell out of the tree.

With lots of stammering and gesticulating at the house next door, he explained to me that that neighbor had hired him to cut off any limbs that hung over her property line. I pointed out that he was in my tree, on my property and that unless he got himself back over the property line it was within my rights to call the cops on him for trespassing.

He fled back to the other side of the fence leaving a badly chopped up tree behind him.

The next summer that neighbor went after the neighbor behind her. She topped all the trees in the row of scrub oak he had shading his ball court. I'd never seen a more pathetic row of trunks cut off at head height without a branch left on them.

The summer after that I saw as I was pulling into my driveway that half of my big pine tree was gone. It looked like someone had stood on a very tall ladder right up against the fence and taken off every branch that could be reached by chainsaw. It was a mess of stubs and snags and broken branches hanging every which way. The neighbor on the other side of her had three huge pines that had received the same treatment. She had also taken out a small copse of scrub oak on his property.

The tree guy who had removed my Normandy poplars the previous summer is really good. He managed to save my pine tree. It even looks pretty darn good from my yard. The other side neighbor's trees were goners, though, and had to be taken down. I talked to the good neighbor about womanslaughter or possible legal action. He said no, that we still had to live next door to her and if we got her really ticked off there was no telling what she might do.

I hate to admit it, but he's right.

I can fantasize though. Oh, can I fantasize. And I invite anyone with evil juicy revenge ideas to pass them along. I won't do them, but I will enjoy thinking about them, the more grotesque, the better.

Stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp...


Walking Fools said...

Dear Wunx; Why resort to violence when Chinese water torture is so effective? Don't discount the 'beauty' of wind chimes. If they're cheap enough they'll have a horrible sound - like fingernails on a blackboard. That should slowly, but surely, drive the mean neighbor batty! :)
- Your passive-aggressive gardening friends

Anonymous said...

oh yes, and a heck of a lot of fun.

bioephemera said...

I can relate to this problem - my neighbor was fine, but his landlord had very little respect for trees. He would randomly appear and hack off everything he could reach. I was relieved when I moved, because we had a number of large trees right on the property line, that I'm sure he was working up to a fuss about. I hope your neighbor eventually gets a life and gives up the passive aggressive pruning obsession! :)

Anonymous said...

Does it occur to any of you that some trees NEED to be trimmed so they don't infringe on others' properties? I've had hideously huge pine trees dropping their needles into my raingutters and onto my roof for years with no letup. I've got a leaky patio cover as a result and would have to pay someone to climb all around and get rid of the mess. The large wishbone needles do not blow away in wind. Plus, heavy branches from various neighboring trees hang over my roof and scrape when it's windy. This is NOT good. The owners of these properties couldn't care less -- the more growth and foliage the better, they think. I do what I have to do to keep their overgrown junk off my property. I have trees, too, but keep them properly trimmed and make sure no shrubbery infringes on anyone as well. We are talking about consideration here, and some of you are as bad as the woman who ruins your trees via botched "trimming" jobs. Get it done yourselves and save her the trouble, will you? Anything that infringes on her property is fair game and you've got some nerve griping that she takes matters into her own hands.

Wunx~ said...

Hey Anonymous --
This woman is not being assaulted by her neighbors' plants. No trees from any neighbor overhang her house. She goes onto her neighbors' property to slaughter trees. I'm not talking about just leaning as far as possible over the property line, she has had her laborers in the middle of the neighbors' yards. Without permission. When they are out of town.

When she has her laborers "trim" trees, she has them over the fence and makes sure they do as much damage as possible, slashing at the trunks with their chainsaws as well as cutting branches.

If she had her way, there would be no plants taller than close-trimmed grass anywhere in the neighborhood. I think that is neither reasonable nor sane...