Trees on neighbors side of fence stealing nutrients

He has a japanese maple tree which I absolutely hate, and a bunch of crepe myrtles, which I hate more.

Those will not effect your garden in a negative fashion unless they are directly south.

Nice! They don’t make that obvious in the page. Labor is nothing to me. I breathe it. I will need about 40 feet. So I’m looking at $140. Sounds good to me. If they last, it’ll save me more than $140 on fertilizer and whatnot. Are they durable looking and non-poisonous?

EDIT: never mind the mfg. says they last 30 years.

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James Prigioni has trees in his own garden, so he doesn’t really count.

He also doesn’t seem to have any bug problems at all. Nothing goes wrong in his garden. I don’t know if Jersey is garden heaven. I follow exactly his steps and fail miserably. Disease happens and bugs happen.

Here in GA we have squashbugs, cucumber beetles, leaf footed bugs, armyworms, tomato hornworms, sharpshooters, fungus, mosquitos, ants, slugs, earwigs, cucumber worms. Sometimes it feels nasty to even go into the garden with all of this. Even the birds are disgusted at them.

That’s why I stay away from the dude. His advice is not applicable to my area.

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Move your garden to the other far side of your property or find a rental space. Stay on good terms with your neighbors. That is worth more than your produce.


Gardening is my life. Gardening > neighbors.

Disclaimer - I installed them in Jan this year. The guy who did it said the material was good and roots wont pass thru the joints due to the nice locking system. To me it just looked like a piece of flimsy plastic. I do not know if it will last, I also do not know if it will be effective… Just sharing what I did :slight_smile:

Okay. I’ll either do that, or find some scrap roofing steel from collapsed farmhouses and such.

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@chingchungly & @northwoodswis4 - My approach with the neighbors is always to request their consideration and go out of my way to be extra nice and offer to pay for everything. You never know when you will have an emergency and your neighbors are the first people you can call for help.

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Actually it is possible for some neighboring trees to have negative impacts. My one neighbor insists on keeping his Lombardy poplars that line his side of our fence. This tree suckers like a demon, driving the previous owner of my current house to lay asphalt down where a front yard would normally be. This tree is for a prairie wind break and little else. This demon tree has broken through the asphalt in several places. Now the trunk part on my side is splitting as it is rotting. I will have to deal with it as he is sick and elderly. This is why all my trees are potted…and about to move to the country. To top it off, said demon tree roots have actually grown into the bottom of some of my largest pots!

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I don’t know where you guys live, but where I live neighbors don’t have that level of forethought or self-reflection. People here are unconscious. They don’t have the capacity that you are assigning them here. Why is the internet always different from real life?


I know all that too well. I had three of them from previous owners. I spent a small fortune digging it all out and did my neighbors a big favor. Sorry about your situation!

This was my backyard two years after cutting down the original trees!


I suppose you could go from flowers and vegetables to black walnut trees underplanted with paw paw trees and black raspberry vines. Sometimes you have to use the lemons.


Here I’m thinking Bermuda grass and morning glory in my yard are way too invasive :slight_smile:


I don’t understand what you’re trying to get at.

Yeah, that’s what I would be thinking if I were him. Just saying.


How about going the raised garden bed(s) route? Install root barrier of some sort on the bottom to keep his trees’ roots from penetrating upward.

As far as trees stealing resources from other plants…all I know is that clover performance is definitely impacted by the large oaks on the edges of my foodplots. Big trees use huge amounts of water and nutrients.


We had a similar issue with neighbor planting siberian elms along our property line. The land there is a steep slope and the area is not wide. Out of concern for the tree hedge shading out the grass and dealing with erosion, I talked with the neighbor. No luck.

After my wife mowed down 1 by accident and damaged 2 with roundup, my neighbor came calling. I politely explained the poor site choice and pointed out that the elms he bought mail order are on the restricted list for Wisconsin. I calmly suggested they might grow better on the other side of his property and offered to help him move the trees.

He went for it. The trees are doing fine and my slope is grass covered and well. All worked out.


Poplars and Siberian elms have two things going for them: they grow quickly and they’re hard to kill (provided there’s enough water, in the case of poplars). Outside of that, they’re horrible trees. My neighbors had both when we moved into our house in 1999.

The two poplars, some form of cottonwood, were within 3’ of the fence line. I knew they’d be an issue right from the start and suggested to my neighbor that they would eventually ruin the garden I installed 30’ away, our lawn, and heave our driveway pavers. He said he and his wife liked the shade—they never came outside and the trees were on the north side of their house and only ever shaded our property, so this was nonsense. There were also numerous S. elm volunteers along the fence line, though just barely on my side. They all came from the S. elm trees he’d planted to shade his deck 50+’ away. When I removed all of those, he actually came out and complained to me. I explained about all of their negative attributes, but as with the poplars, rational explanations generally make no impact on folks who like the idea of things growing, but who never really deal with the negative impacts those trees have on others or on the environment.

Two more owners of that house cycled through with me explaining the effects of the poplars: thoroughly invaded the vegetable garden bed within 7 years and outcompetes anything I planted there in spite of the 100’ of root barrier I installed along the fence line and the annual, labor intensive, root digging I attempted; invaded the lawn so that 2-3” surface roots ran for great distances through it out to 40’ from the trees within 10 years…and all the water they hovered up from our lawn and garden (we irrigate at some expense out here in the high desert, so this is a pretty serious issue); eventual damage to the paver driveway; potential damage to our home from huge, brittle branches (or an entire tree) coming down in a windstorm. Our bedroom was along the likely fall line, so this was very concerning.

Ultimately, the pavers heaved, as did part of the slab in our garage, 40’ from the trees. The trees came down, insurance paid a few thousand $ for the fix, and I spent the next two or three years digging out the prolific suckers and all of those damn surface roots from our yard. I’m still dealing with volunteer S. elms sent over as seed from the terrible trees shading their deck, but I never allow any to grow on my property or, frankly, anywhere closer to it than the original trees. They are a pox on this earth.

All of this to make the point that neither of these types of trees are dynamic accumulators in my environment, and probably not in any of yours either.


It takes too much soil to fill raised beds. I have a 2 x 48 feet row along the fence. Not to mention building the raised beds.