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When to let go

WaysideWayside Posts: 807
edited July 2018 in Plants
My infirm uncle's neighbours replaced the fence along the boundary, and asked at the time whether they could cut back foliage to do so.

He complied, as he's an agreeable and optimistic old soul.  They basically removed all overhanging branches in their garden.  And raised all canopies, or rather cut back to the trunk to about 10ft high or so.

This has not only exposed his previously private garden, but the remaining trees look rather sad.  Hollies and a Bay tree I expect to fill out a little bit - but an old pear is now quite horrid.

I've no doubt that the neighbours thought they were doing him a favour by limbing up his trees.  He was a little alarmed, but as I say has a good outlook, so saw it as an opportunity of sorts.  I was completely aghast!

I know people are entitled to cut back overhanging branches, but if everyone did this, boundary planting of trees becomes almost a no no.  In my own narrow garden I'd pretty much have to site a tree in the middle.

The neighbours have a nice selection of plants and have enjoyed a recent garden refresh.  They seem however to be a little allergic to trees in general, they have none!  The ones pruned back were not blocking the Sun/light to most of their garden, and the gardens are quite generous in size, so I'm a little stumped as to why they went in so hard.

Just goes to show, give people an inch, and they take a mile.

Anyway my grumbling aside, now the lovely old pear tree looks horrific and unbalanced, and I've no real clue as what to do with it.  Any fruit is so high, that there is no way to get at it now.  Which is a shame as I used to walk away with a couple of carrier bags of fruit.

Would you just give one of these up as a loss?


  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,901
    Don’t mean to sound harsh, but he got increased security in exchange for some tree limbs.

    If he’s more or less happy with it (or at least resigned to it) there’s not much more to say.

    Again, without criticising you (you take an interest in his welfare), it’s not your garden. Had it been your garden, you could have stepped in and said your piece at the time.

    No use crying over spilt milk.

    Just tell him how nice and burglar proof his garden now is.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
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  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053
    Having been on the wrong end of something like this as well recently, I do understand where you are coming from. His neighbours have taken advantage of him I fear. Cutting overhanging branches is one thing, lifting the canopies is something else, especially if they have lifted the canopy all the way round the tree. Either way, they only had permission to cut back to gain access to put up the new fence and to cut back overhanging. I think a polite word to them is called for, just to make them aware he does have 'carers'. 
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • WaysideWayside Posts: 807
    edited July 2018
    His security is actually arguably diminished, and he's now slightly put off using his garden, as he feels he is somewhat on show.  And the fence that stood there for two decades was better quality, but heck.

    Yes the canopies were raised (limbed up) on all boundary trees - around the entire tree, and most bedding was flattened, removed.  It had got somewhat wayward, but I've always admired the garden.  

    I just help out with the garden from time to time when possible.  I don't want to rock any boats.

    That was really just a moan,  my hand has been forced with the remaining hacked off pear tree.  Which is my real question here.  Should I remove it now it is misshaped/ugly?  Or can old fruit trees, be coppiced and bear fruit once more?

    A gardener friend said that water shoots divert energy, and it leads to a lack of fruit elsewhere.
  • WaysideWayside Posts: 807
    I decided to wait until the Pear tree breaks, rather than make work for myself.
  • UpNorthUpNorth Posts: 376
    i agree, give someone an inch and they'll take your whole back yard :)

  • karen paulkaren paul Posts: 230
    I wouldn't give up hope with it just yet. I know it's a completely different tree but I have an apple tree that I raised the canopy on (hubby doesn't like it overhanging the car on the drive because it gets pelted with falling apples in the wind, lol so I've been training it to just overhang the garden) and it keeps regrowing from the bottom and all the way up the trunk which I have to keep pulling off, so you never know, a pear tree might do the same.
  • granmagranma Posts: 1,929
    Im afraid i agree with hogweed on this one ,
    , yes they have made their garden as they want it to look  they could have come to a happy medium .
    the canopy :: why couldn't they have Just topped it and trimmed it more so on their side but gradually throughout the year? 
    Also ,if it was a new fence and  they wanted  it to look nice ,why not just put another fence 
    In front of the new one.? 
    I myself would feel they have taken advantage.
    With the pear tree could you plant a climbing rose  to give it a new look or an evergreen clematis.

    Wayside I have sent you a pm. :*
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