For those that don’t know, the farmer next to me killed 18 of my trees and severely injured 10 more about 5 years ago. The state got involved and came down on him reasonably hard. Then 2 years ago he did it again, though it was much much less severe and only injured about 4 trees, and I just let it go.
Well, it has happened again. The good news is that this time it is another pretty minor event. The severe damage the first time was with 2, 4-D. Last time and this time it has just been some kind of total herbicide like roundup. The only damage I am seeing so far is just a lot of brown spots on the leaves of the 2 rows of trees closest to his field, and the green leaves are all falling off the row closest to where he sprays. They have just started falling off today, so who knows whether they will all fall off eventually and/or if they will have worse damage.
Photo of a Green Gage (Bevays) plum with spots on it from spray (was bright green/healthy all over 5 days ago):
Video showing neighbors field, then my property, then green leaves falling off… (no jokes about how bad I need to mow!!! ha)
I’ve attached a photo to show what the spots look like, and a video to show 2 things. First, I tried to show his field and how close it is to my trees. I have some trees that are only about 8 feet from the property line, and he sprays right up to the line. The video starts by showing his field, which has all just started dying the last 3 days and is already all brown. He killed all his grass and weeds, probably to prepare for planting something like soybeans.
I’m a bit understanding because his property is so close to my trees. But I feel like he really should leave a buffer zone of at least a few extra feet right alongside my trees. The field is 25 acres so one 10 foot strip about 200 feet long wouldn’t cost him much yield at all. I know its hard to have zero drift, but I feel like I ought to be able to grow what I want to on all of my land and not be forced to forfeit my own buffer zone/wasted land just because he cant prevent drift. If it was me letting deadly chemicals drift onto him, then I would whatever steps are neccessary. Its just not fair that I can’t use all my land because he wants to use all of his (and some of mine via the “drift zone”.
The good news is this isn’t a major damage case again, and the drift area on my property is only about 30 feet TOTAL, with only one row of trees hit hard enough to get spots and drop leaves. I haven’t decided what I’m going to do about it yet but obviously this can’t go on forever.
I’m not so much looking for advice on what to do about him- its complicated and I’ll have to figure it out. I’m also not looking for sympathy- its not devastating like the first time was and I’ve learned to deal with it… I guess I just wanted to tell you all that its happened again and to tell all of you to please be considerate of your own neighbors. Also wanted to warn you that even something like round up can drift and do damage, so be careful of your own trees.
I don’t know how or when he sprayed. I just noticed his field was all dying and my closest trees had spots and leaf dropping. He no doubt sprayed one day last week when I was at work. Oh well…life goes on!
Its a complicate situation
PLEASE SEE UPDATE BELOW