How to use landscaping as a border from neighbors?

Discussion in 'Country Living Questions' started by angie_nrs, Mar 8, 2018.

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  1. Mar 8, 2018 #1

    angie_nrs

    angie_nrs

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    I'm really hoping someone can help me out here since I really don't know a whole lot about landscaping and (to date) I'm not much of a green thumb.

    I'm trying to figure out a way to use trees or shrubs to create a border from our neighbors. The neighbors have a tendency to infringe on our property and I would like to create a noise and sight barrier from them as well. Thankfully we have quite a bit of room between our house and the line of houses along one property line, but they are crappy neighbors. After we got a survey done a few years back, they would move the survey stakes to make it look like they owned our property. Little did they know, we GPS'd the line at the time of the survey. Plus, you could look down the marker line and see that they moved the marking pole. They're not very smart. We have approached them about it and they lie and say they didn't do it. Last year we cemented the marker in. Anyways, this is only one house along that line. Others infringe as well, just not as blatantly. We would like to plant the entire line which is about a half mile long. I thought about a fence, but that would be expensive and not provide any noise or visual shielding.

    The property itself is wooded with a mix of wood including poplars (which flourish), oak, and some maples. So that gives you an idea of what grows well here. Something that grows fast would be ideal. I'm thinking a mixture of trees and some type of shrubbery would be great. Perhaps even a sprawling thorny bush of some sort, but I don't want to be the one planting that! Ouch! But, maybe when they're small it wouldn't be much of an issue.

    I'm hoping someone can make a recommendation on what kind of trees, shrubs, or combination would be a good solution to my problem. I'm thinking the best time to plant would be in the spring so that they could make a solid root before winter. If I figure something out, I'll need to get it ordered soon.

    I'm not a green thumb type of person. So, it'll have to be something that's maintenance free......plant it and forget it! Does anyone have any ideas for me??
     
  2. Mar 8, 2018 #2

    phideaux

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    Think evergreens, like arborvitaes, for YEAR ROUND privacy,
    They are thick foliage for privacy and sound...

    Just my 2 pennies.


    Jim
     
  3. Mar 8, 2018 #3

    zoomzoom

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    My first thought is something like Canadian Hemlock, Arborvitae or Thuja.

    The hardest part with your situation is the distance of almost 1/2 mile. The Hemlock or Arborvitae will run you about 30-40 cents per linear foot, the Thuja is probably closer to $1 per foot.

    Sounds like your neighbors aren't very friendly about this line. Any chance they'll uproot or kill whatever you plant?
     
  4. Mar 8, 2018 #4

    Caribou

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    I've been trying to get blackberries to grow here but no luck. I wanted a spike barrier and if I can ever get them started I'll put in a wire fence for them to climb. The thorns are not a big problem when they are small.
     
  5. Mar 8, 2018 #5

    The Lazy L

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    Any bushy plant with thorns and Poison Ivy mixed in with them.
     
  6. Mar 8, 2018 #6

    Weedygarden

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    Part of what I am going to write will seem a little off topic, because it is worth discussing. This is not what you asked for, but it is relevant.

    I know someone who lives in a suburb where there are no fences, or weren't. That may have changed. The neighbors would mow further and further into what they thought their yard was. Finally homeowners had their property surveyed and of course the property line was pushed way back into what the neighbors thought was their property, or tried to acquire. Now the neighbors were not happy because they had been mowing that for a while.

    Many of us understand that if you do not protect what is yours, it will belong to someone else via 5 finger discount or other means. This is true of property. People have gone to court and taken property (land, real estate) that someone else paid for, because they had the right connections in court and wanted what they wanted.

    You said you are in a forested area.

    I would consider some type of fence along the property line. It can be simple cemented in posts with simple wire or fencing strung across. This could give you a place, as Caribou mentioned, to have vines and other plants on. This will prevent or limit the ability to come over the property line onto your property.

    Not knowing where you live, I would consider something at the property line that has thorns for the perimeter, such as raspberries, blackberries or even roses. (Roses can produce rose hips which are useful in tea and a source of vitamin C.) Maybe growing grapes on that fence would also help with a barrier.

    As has mentioned, consider evergreens. In South Dakota, and probably other places, there are shelter belts. These are prescribed plantings of plants in a particular sequence, that provide wind breaks, shelter for wildlife, and do screen views. This is a link to shelter belt planting in Canada. Local extension offices in America can provide information, help and a discount on plants. http://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/science-an...-planning-and-establishment/?id=1344636433852
     
  7. Mar 8, 2018 #7

    Meerkat

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    I think blackberry's like a little challenge. Ours grow wild here and in thick brush of all kinds of weeds and trees. The horse and donkey use to love them. We eat them every year. We have never fertilized them either so don't think they like a lot of nutreunt's. Don't know for sure though.
     
  8. Mar 8, 2018 #8

    phideaux

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    I have domesticated Blackberries , they are wonderful,

    BUT

    They will spread, and take over everything , if not maintained.
    Every hanging branch that touches the ground takes root and new bushes grow.:eyeballs:


    Jim
     
  9. Mar 8, 2018 #9

    Meerkat

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    Put in a Kudzo Vine
    spl'. Or Muscadine's may even luck up and get some grapes off those.
    Our neighbors kept saying our fence was on their property so we hired a surveyer , come to find out half their yard was on our property, they were very mad. If they had of put a fence up we would have lost that land.
     
  10. Mar 8, 2018 #10

    Weedygarden

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    I understand that raspberries, and maybe blackberries as well, do not like to be by a fence or a building. The most successful raspberry patches I have seen were out in the open. I have planted them a few times, next to a fence, and have never had success. It may be my clay soil that has done them in, in spite of me amending the soil frequently.
     
  11. Mar 8, 2018 #11

    Weedygarden

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    I think that something simple that draws a line, even a single wire, is important if you have ever had neighbors encroach onto your property. Many people want more for nothing and will be happy to take it from you, and laugh about it!
     
  12. Mar 8, 2018 #12

    Meerkat

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    :thumbs up: for sure.
     
  13. Mar 8, 2018 #13

    Patchouli

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    Please don't use kudzu, an invasive Asian perennial that is taking over in some areas.
    I was also thinking use poison ivy but that will not be good for the surveyors you contract with once in awhile.
    I would ask a local to you nursery what they would recommend for your border.
    I'm not sure how close you'd want to plant anything to the property line.
    Berry bushes and rose vines sound good, honeysuckle. Some types of evergreens can grow fairly quick.
     
  14. Mar 8, 2018 #14

    hiwall

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    +1 on asking a local nursery or the county extension agent.
    The fastest and likely the easiest thorny border is a barb wire fence. Then plant whatever you want on your side. It would be a shame to spend a lot of money and man-hours planting something only to have it die do to something your neighbors did to it.
    I vote for a fence then plantings on your side.
     
  15. Mar 8, 2018 #15

    angie_nrs

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    Thank you all for the suggestions. There are plenty of local nurseries and I have wanted to stop in and talk to someone about it. I just need to make that happen!

    Lazy L......I'm so glad I'm not your neighbor. LOL! Or am I????

    Actually there is another neighbor who has built over the line.....half their garage. We are working with her to try and get the issue resolved. I'm sure it's going to involve selling them a very small chunk of our land, which I am not happy about. However, the line was crossed long before we became the owners of the property. At least that neighbor is not a jerk wad. She is very nice. Her husband was the one who did it and he also hunted and used 4 wheelers on that piece of property but he is passed on now, so I think those issues are over. But, who knows who might live there next? That's why I want a permanent line.

    The problem I see with planting flowers or food bushes is that I think it will encourage the others to come on over and help themselves. I'm not putting that much work into it to benefit disrespectful neighbors. We were walking the dogs on our property a couple years back and saw some folks on the walking trail ahead of us. They were looking for mushrooms because we saw their mushroom bags. I said "excuse me"......they ignored me and kept walking. I jogged up to them and again said "excuse me......you are aware that this is private property don't you?" They basically ignored me and walked back toward their house. I don't know who they were and I haven't seen them since but I was not happy! We have the property line posted now......not that they didn't know it was private property before.

    Yeah, I'm kinda thinking a fence is probably the way to go. Not ALL the neighbors are jerks, so I don't really want to tork them off. We might have to consider putting up a wall type of fence on the side of the jerk neighbor for a few feet. It would be nice if everyone just respected the line! I told the neighbor that moved the stake that it was a federal offense to do so and that the survey cost over $2000, so we WILL be keeping the stakes where they were placed. I really don't think they could give a hoot less. They have plenty of room on their property but for some reason they think they need another 20 feet or so. The thing is......that property line is much much closer to their house than it is to ours so if I really wanted to play dirty, they'd lose! But if I planted something there, it would likely die by means of antifreeze or some other means. I told hubby we just need to haul a bunch of stumps over there and stack them high. That'd work for me since I can't see it from our house and (for them) it would add to the trashy appearance they already have going on at their place. Did I mention they take their trash and stack it behind their garage.....up to the roof.....that faces our line. So, there is debris scattered all over there. We threw their sprawling trash back over the line when we had the survey done. I just don't get it.....people are ignorant.
     
  16. Mar 8, 2018 #16

    Weedygarden

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    In this situation, with the neighbor being decent, it can be more difficult, but you are being decent as well. There have been people who have been made to move or remove their buildings. This has been true also when people built without permits.A friend of mine used to sell real estate. Her husband told a story about someone who decided to build without a permit, a large garage with an office on top. A neighbor probably reported them and they had to remove the building. They may have gotten the proper permits later, I don't know, but they may have had the building built without a permit because a permit was declined.
     
  17. Mar 8, 2018 #17

    Caribou

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    You could put up a solid fence, pretty side towards you, and then put in a hedge on your side. It could be an evergreen and by the time the fence was needing repair or replacement the shrubs would be well established and probably taller than the fence.
     
  18. Mar 8, 2018 #18

    Meerkat

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    Patch I was being silly about the Kudzu. That Poison Ivy can turn on you. I cleared off a fence with one of those poison plants on it and the dr laughed when he saw me and said' I don't mean to laugh but I have never seen a worse case of poison Sumac ' I think it was ' in my whole career." I seldom go to dr.s if I can treat it myself. NOTHING helped me from itching and burning. I looked like I'd been in a fight with a gang of cats.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  19. Mar 8, 2018 #19

    Weedygarden

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    There is this option! It doesn't sound like this is really an issue though.
     
  20. Mar 8, 2018 #20

    The Lazy L

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    Well I thought I got along well with my neighbors. You don't have a bunch of Poison Ivy rash all over you do you? :D
     
  21. Mar 8, 2018 #21

    hiwall

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    The old saying is "Good fences make good neighbors."
     
  22. Mar 8, 2018 #22

    captain belly

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    I would use Field Fence, and then plant black berry bushes along it. I find that T-posts and Field Fence may be cheaper than buying a row of plants / tree / bushes....etc. Not sure if your state has such a program, but here in Missouri you can order native saplings and brushes super cheap. Might want to call your state conservation office to see if you can get such deals. Either way, it would take years to grow these to any affective size. I'd still start with the Field Fencing.
     
  23. Mar 8, 2018 #23
  24. Mar 8, 2018 #24

    Weedygarden

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    Meerkat, it must have been really bad! I don't know how effective benadryl would be for poison oak, ivy and the like, but it is a good thing to keep in first aid supplies.
     
  25. Mar 8, 2018 #25

    backlash

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    I had a neighbor that was crazy. I don't mean just nuts but certifiable insane.
    He had been committed several times. He would mow his yard and there wasn't a blade of grass on the whole lot.
    He would mow my yard down as low as his mower would go.
    I talked to him and it did no good.
    His wife was as bad as he was.
    He coerced a couple of neighbors into signing a letter claiming my dog barked nonstop all day.
    County animal control investigated and said there was no problem but if the guy continued I would have to go to court to answer the complaint.
    I finally installed a 6' fence. That at least kept him off my yard.
    About 3 months later he took a a pair of scissors to himself and really did some damage to his legs,arms and chest.
    He was finally committed for a long time and his wife moved before he got out so I never saw him again.
    Bad neighbors are a nightmare.I had several in a row before it got better and I hope to never have another one.
    The problem with planting something is it would be easy to kill it off so all your hard work and money would be wasted.
    Fence it off a little at a time as money is available.
     
  26. Mar 8, 2018 #26

    angie_nrs

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    Wow! Excellent feedback here folks. Thanks so much for all the wonderful replies. I feel for all of you out there with crappy neighbors. Most of ours are great....but it only takes one bad apple..... If not for that one neighbor, I probably wouldn't worry too much about it, but you never know who'll move in next and since we just recently got it surveyed it probably would be smart to make sure a permanent fence is in place so we never have to worry about it again. At least, that is my hope. I don't know how much a half mile of fence is going to cost so it looks like I have some research to do.

    We're pretty sure that her husband built the garage knowing he was over the line. It was built several years after they built their house and we're pretty sure a permit was never obtained but we haven't checked since we really don't want to make her tear it down. Clearly we would never be able to prove he did it intentionally, but she did make some comments that confirmed our suspicions when we spoke with her as the survey was being done. She did not seem too surprised about the whole thing. Actually the surveyor was a bit freaked out about it, but she seemed like it really wasn't a surprise at all. I never met her husband, and I know I shouldn't speak ill of the dead, but I'm quite certain we would not have gotten along well. I have a feeling he was used to breaking the rules.

    Ouch! I used to get the rash as a kid if I walked through smoke when someone was burning brush with poison ivy. I will stay as far away from it as possible and won't be intentionally planting it anywhere on my property ever!

    Well, there is a couple bonuses with winter and snow. The bugs aren't bad and the itchy plants don't bother you. So, it looks like we aren't neighbors after all. Whew! Good, b/c I don't think I'd want to make you mad. ;)

    Yup, I think you're right. A half mile is a lot of work to plant anything so putting up a fence is probably what we'll end up doing. Maybe we'll plant some trees between the problem neighbors and us just to shield the noise and mess. We can't see the mess or their house from our house anyways, but extra trees certainly won't hurt. Now, if I can just get them to keep their friggin' dog off our property.:rolleyes:
     
  27. Mar 8, 2018 #27

    Cnsper

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    Laurel makes a good barrier or even better, Hawthorn trees.
     
  28. Mar 8, 2018 #28

    Peanut

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    Hawthorns has some nasty thorns! They are also medicinal... ;)
     
  29. Mar 9, 2018 #29

    Caribou

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    I'd talk to an attorney about the structure on your property. The clock is ticking and you could wind up with losing a part of your land to this gal and get nothing for it. When you want to sell your property there could be a problem with the title and I doubt a bank would loan on it with that problem and I'm wondering what a title insurance company would say. It is worth an hour of attorney time with someone that is versed in this area of the law.
     
  30. Mar 9, 2018 #30

    Patchouli

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    What idiot burns poison ivy? Sorry, @ angie_nrs, but that is just wrong on anybody's part and they should be fined a hefty sum.
    I read high fences make good neighbors. Just consider, you wouldn't have to have too nice of a fence appearance-wise, considering what you're blocking, and eventually all your greenery and forest will block it anyway, maybe.
     

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