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Weeping Willow

My sister is worried about her weeping willow tree, last week her neighbour asked if he could trim the branches hanging onto his property she said yes up to the boundary fence. When she checked on the tree a couple of days later she was mortified! The beautiful tree she planted many years ago in memory of our mum and her grandchildren’s secret garden had been hacked to leave just half a tree, they had come over and cut great branches off close to the tree trunk and also hammered a piece of wood to the tree for footing she believes, she was livid and shouted at her neighbor saying she thought he was just trimming the hanging branches in his property but he had employed a tree surgeon to do it for him 
She is so worried about whether this drastic cut at this time of year and the plank of wood they screwed to the tree will harm the tree. Will it grow back? Does the weeping willow not have to have equal weight of branches ? 
Any advice on if it will survive is appreciated, she really is distraught  please see pics above of the hacking.

Posts

  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,907
    Good gracious.. that is awful!  Get the neighbor up there ASAP to get that piece of wood and screws out.  

    Not much to do about it now, but it does serve as a warning for others.  Make sure you are at home before a neighbors tree surgeon works on your property.. or else take pictures and be specific about what is permissible.  

    The tree 'should' send out new growth from the cut branches.. and in a few years time look okay in leaf.  It will always look a bit unbalanced, especially in winter.  

    Utah, USA.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,074
    It does seem like vandalism.   The tree will put out new growth but, as Blue Onion says, will always look lop-sided and yes, those screws and nails need to come out asap.

    Was the tree surgeon properly qualified?   Doesn't seem like it to me.   They would know about nails damaging the cambium layer under the bark and they would use ropes and harnesses to climb trees unless, as it seems in this case, they are real cowboys.

    If you need any ammo when talking to the neighbours, show them this - https://www.chron.com/life/gardening/article/Do-nails-and-screws-harm-trees-1793098.php

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,127
    The neighbour and/or the tree surgeon are at fault in law.
    If your sister did not give them express permission to enter her land, then they have trespassed and committed an offence by interefering with her property and causing damage.
    If branches overhang a boundary then they may be cut back to the boundary line, but said branches must then be returned (or offered) to the owner as they remain their property.
    It might be legally possible to claim damages, but this is unlikely to be a sensible course of action because of the cost and hassle involved.
    Weeping willows do grow into very large trees and near a boundary fence in a suburban garden is not really the best place to plant one, though I appreciate the sentiment behind the action.
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