Neighbor sprayed me AGAIN! (My very strange pears 2.0)

Yes, you read that correctly. No, I’m not kidding. Yes, I’m so angry I can barely type. Yes, this is absolutely unimaginable.

For folks that are new: Last year my neighbor carelessly let 2, 4-D spray drift onto my fruit trees and killed around 19 trees and really messed up about 15 more, several of which still aren’t normal. That saga is in a thread called “my very strange pears” because when it first happened I didn’t know what was causing my pears to have strange twisted growth.

Well, here we are a year later and the nighmare begins again. SO today I’m in my orchard and I notice that the field next to me has just barely started to turn a yellowish brown color. It suddenly dawns on me that it has all been sprayed with a herbicide. This time it wasn’t just a broadleaf killer but some kind of total-kill spray like Roundup. The damage to the trees is totally different this time

Keep in mind that even the field they sprayed has just barely started to show the results of the spray, so I’m certain my trees are also in the very, very, very early stage of damage and death. No telling how many are really affected. So when you look at these photos you will probably say “well, that isn’t bad” or you may question if the damage is even caused by herbicide spray. I assure you 100% that what I’m showing you is damage caused by the spray. The damage just showed up, is much worse the closer you get to the field that was sprayed, and while some damage looks similar to other things, much of it could be explained no other way.

I haven’t even begun to think about what I’m going to do, whether the same people are farming it this year, or anything else. I just discovered I’d been hit again and wanted to share it with the only folks who really understand how much it hurts to raise trees for 5 years and have a careless neighbor kill them over and over again.

This is a brand new Bevay Green Gage from Dave Wilson. It was just leafing out and was a picture of health and bright green color just 3 days ago. Now it has little black dots all over it where droplets landed and the tips are already dead and brown. Photos don’t show how bad it is.

The photo below isn’t that helpful to you in showing how bad the trees look, but I wanted to you see how all the green leaves on about 10 of my trees are falling off. We have had no wind or any other reason why my trees would suddenly start shedding all their leaves at once. This photos shows that they aren’t even hanging on long enough to turn yellow- just falling off by the hundreds. Trees will be completely bare in another day or two

This is just a random branch off my blue Damson Plum tree. Again, it looked magnificent and lush green 3 days ago and all its tips were healthy new grown. Now they are all dying and brown and burned.

This photo is almost useless at showing the damage, but what you see is a paw paw tree that has been hit worse than almost anything else. The whole tree has just wilted- it literally looks like a potted tree that hasn’t been watered in many days…no vigor, no structure. And like every single tree affected, there are tiny black dots covering almost every leaf- very obviously where tiny droplets landed.

The pic below is just another random branch on a different tree. Once again, tiny black dots everywhere and brown, crispy dead edges.

The most horrifying part of all this is that we all know how long Roundup takes and that the first stages start like what I’m saying and it gets worse every day for a week or two until the plant is dead. I can only hope that isn’t what is going to happen to all these trees again, but I honestly bet it will be. Best case scenario it looks like they are going to loose all their leaves and I’ll loose another year of growing time that my 4-5 year old trees really need.

Does this make anyone else mad? :rage:


I feel your pain. It’s horrible that they are not more careful with herbicide sprays. I hope they survive for you. :pensive:

NOOOOOOOO!!! :rage: Say it isn’t so!!!

Oh no Kevin. That is unthinkable. I just can’t imagine the emotions I’d have. I know there is no way to make it all better but I hope you have some recourse.

Yeah it makes me mad! I hope your trees fight through it and survive. I have heard this story before multiple times. The average American doofus thinks nothing of spraying Roundup at everything undesirable and green. They aren’t aware of the side effects, and if you told them they wouldn’t care.

My neighbor sprays Roundup yearly, right up to our property line, just to kill the thistles that get stuck on his dog. Anything within 5 feet of the fence on my side is a casualty. My stepfather in New Jersey does the same thing and his neighbor, who grows grapes on the fence, came over and nearly murdered him.

It’s just a fact of life that we gardeners have to deal with.


Keep a record, sue for damages. If you don’t do anything he’ll just keep doing it, because it’s not like his carelessness is hurting him. So make sure it hurts him.


Kevin, so sorry to hear this happened again. Actually, sorry doesn’t come close to describing the outrage and frustration I’m sure a lot of us feel that this has happened to your orchard a second time. This is worse than any late freeze, drought, or insect infestation. Hard to imagine what you must be feeling, hope it helps a little to know that people all around the country really care and are hurting for you. Hope you can hang in there, and that you will get FULL restitution and assure that this NEVER happens again.


As long as you don’t sue him, as long as he doesn’t suffer damages, he has no reason to be careful and change his ways


Man I cannot believe this! I know for sure your neighbors can have no idea how much your trees mean to you. People are so darn careless!

I’d ordered in some CJ’s for a Nephew and have been spraying them whenever I have a tank mixed up and it’s time. I was over to his place the other day and from a distance I could see what looked like cherry leaf spot - upon closer inspection I determined it to be herbicide damage. I asked him if they had sprayed any 2,4-D (I’d noticed some shriveled up dandelions nearby…) Turns out they had sprayed on a slightly windy day. I think I was more saddened than they were…

I’m not an expert, but I do use both 2,4-D & Roundup from time-to-time around here, and I don’t think Roundup has a reputation for drifting nearly like 2,4-D.

But whatever it was it’s for sure making your stuff sick.

I hope you are able to be civil when you visit with them - although I wonder if I could be!

Good luck!

I have only one word: Sue. :rage:

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Thanks so much for all the great comments. I knew you guys would get it. Other people just think- well its just a tree, they are everywhere. grow another one. ha.

The last time this happened to me I spend my whole summer wallowing in anger and misery and debating how I wanted to deal with it/how far to push it, and so on. I also spent way too much time whining “woe is me” to the point I’m sure people got tired of it. I’m not going to do any of that this year IF I CAN HELP IT. Life is too short. I’ll have to do a little investigative work to see who farms it now and decide what to do, but I’m just not going to dwell on it all summer or let it ruin my love or the orchard OR take big blocks of time from you guys just because I’ need feedback.

I will occasionally post updates, but I’ll not let it dominate the forum like it did a couple years ago. Thanks again for your kind words and support.


Makes me sick to my stomach.

Damn Kevin. I feel for you buddy. Sorry you are going through this a second time.

I’ve been on both sides of this fence the row cropper and orchardist. I had a tree sprayed and killed once by a friend and I was hopping angry. I didn’t call him for a couple of weeks and never brought it up. The two things are not conducive to each other. I think your going to need to spend some hard cash on a big fence which will take care of most of it. I even over sprayed my own once along my bottom orchard when the wind just started whipping up out of nowhere. I’m angry and sad at the same time mostly because those two necessary farming practices don’t go together. Had the same problem with cows cropping trees and stomping bushes and vines like a " bull in a china cabinet"! Cool off before you talk to them and then just make them pay damages. Go to the nursery and price grown trees the same size or have a landscaper give you an estimate. I’m very sorry you had this happen.


It makes me mad- is the neighbor that did the damage last year the same one that did it this year? If so, he owes you more than compensatory damages - I would consider trying to recover punitive damages in addition to “pain and suffering”. I’m not a lawyer and I won’t pretend to be, but at this stage I would be talking to one.

Remember too, though, that Clark makes some good points and it isn’t always simple and straightforward. The right thing for your neighbor to do is to work with you to compensate you and to try to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

Is this the same neighbor that you have to live with at work?

Sigh … it’s never simple.

You have my sympathies and I hope it works out for you.

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I really feel sorry for you. I wonder if you will have this happen on a yearly basis. That would be horrible. More important, I am worried about your health. I question the quality of air in your area this time of the year with drifts of herbicide. You can’t see what you breathe in.

If the neighboring property is spraying ag fields, there’s a good chance they are hiring a contractor to do the spraying (co-ops do a lot of spraying around here). It seems that getting a contracted sprayer to pay for damages is easier than when a farmer/landowner is doing it themselves.

Good luck, that really sucks. I’ve been worried about my largest orchard all this week. Last weekend there was a contracted spray outfit hitting the field across the road. We had a decent breeze and I’ve been worried about drift. I think they were spraying a pre-emergent herbicide though, so that should have been less harmful than glyphosate or 2-4d.

So sad. Yes, talk to a lawyer.

Hope it works out for you.


You talked to an attorney on the phone, then he/she called another person to discuss damage…and it cost you $100? Holy crap, I need to find an attorney who works that cheaply.


The attorney had done some work for me previously and I knew him well. I agree that he earned the money and that it was relatively inexpensive for me.

I could never have been a lawyer. Always getting into controversies.