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Thread: neighbor's vines and our property

  1. #1
    fudge is offline Junior Member
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    neighbor's vines and our property

    What is the name of your state?Minnesota

    Hi, I hope I do this right since I'm "computer-dumb"!

    Our problem? Approximately 13 years ago we installed a wooden privacy fence ON our property. (It is many inches within our property.) At the time, one of our neighbors (on the side) asked if they could grow vines on our fence and we said yes. [To all of you out there ~ NEVER say yes to such a request!!] Over the years we discovered that not only did the vines take over the entire fence, but also that our neighbor couldn't keep up with them either! We have spent hours and hours cutting these vines from our side of our fence, as well as from our yard and from around our trees that are located about 2 feet in from the fence. This year we finally said enough is enough; we have enough of our own chores to keep us busier than busy, but more importantly, we discovered that these vines were ruining our fence! Some had grown inbetween nailed boards and once they dried they had become a part of the fence; in other words, un-removable!

    Anyway, when we asked that the vines be removed, our neighbor sent us nasty letters stating that they would do no such thing but eventually, in response to a letter from us, they said they would remove their vines if we would trim some of our branches that hung over the fence way in the back of our yards. We trimmed all of our branches, and it looked like they were removing their vines, BUT all they did was put up some metal trellises along the fence and they've continued to let their vines run amok and we now have vines growing up the boards on both sides of the fence, and also under the fence into our yard. Hmmm, same old problem!

    What type of options do we have in this matter? We do not want to continue to clean up after their landscaping and we do not want our fence to suffer any more damage, either. It'd be one thing if we were talking about an occasional branch or something but if none of you have tried to clean up vines-gone-wild, believe me it's a HUGE chore! They cling and adhere to everything and it's an awful job!

    Thank you so much for any input you have and I'm sorry this got so long!
    Last edited by fudge; 08-30-2005 at 07:10 AM.
  2. #2
    Warped is offline Member
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    I'm not a lawyer!

    The fence is on your property and, in fact, several inches inside of your provable (via current survey) property line, correct? Apply a strong defoliant or highly concentraded fertilizer along the fence line. Problem solved.
  3. #3
    Shel77 is offline Member
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    If the vines are growing on your property you have every right to spray them with something that will kill them. You will need to make sure to spray the base of the plant as well, vines have a tendency to grow back. If they do grow back the roots will most likely need to be dug out.
  4. #4
    fudge is offline Junior Member
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    me again

    Thanks for the replies so far but I should clarify ~ our neighbor's vines are planted in their dirt (or perhaps even a bit in our dirt) but as is the case with vines, they are creeping and clinging all over the place regardless of where they are actually planted. (And with one of the vines, I'm not even sure if we could find the "base or roots" because it's such a thick mess!) We've not actually gone over to their side of the fence to find the roots and measure their distance from the fence and the property line. It'd be pretty tough to determine at this point. At issue are all the tentacles of the vines, not so much where exactly they are planted.

    I wish our fence was further onto our property than just inches, then we could better control it on the other (their) side, but even if our fence was taken down, we'd still have all these vines creeping into our yard and we just can't continue to do their clean up for them anymore. At this rate, we probably can't mow our yard pretty soon because our mower will get damaged. Right now the vines are still working their way through our own landscaping that's on our side of our fence but they'll soon be in our grass, too.

    I appreciate the ideas offered so far ~ I hope someone comes up with a more "legal" approach for us to try ie, writing a letter with a "clean up your mess or else legal action will result" tacked on the end. Thanks everybody!
  5. #5
    BelizeBreeze is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by fudge
    Thanks for the replies so far but I should clarify ~ our neighbor's vines are planted in their dirt (or perhaps even a bit in our dirt) but as is the case with vines, they are creeping and clinging all over the place regardless of where they are actually planted. (And with one of the vines, I'm not even sure if we could find the "base or roots" because it's such a thick mess!) We've not actually gone over to their side of the fence to find the roots and measure their distance from the fence and the property line. It'd be pretty tough to determine at this point. At issue are all the tentacles of the vines, not so much where exactly they are planted.
    None of this matters. Find your property line and cut the vines back to that point. Case solved.
    I wish our fence was further onto our property than just inches, then we could better control it on the other (their) side, but even if our fence was taken down, we'd still have all these vines creeping into our yard and we just can't continue to do their clean up for them anymore. At this rate, we probably can't mow our yard pretty soon because our mower will get damaged. Right now the vines are still working their way through our own landscaping that's on our side of our fence but they'll soon be in our grass, too.
    see above.
    I appreciate the ideas offered so far ~ I hope someone comes up with a more "legal" approach for us to try ie, writing a letter with a "clean up your mess or else legal action will result" tacked on the end. Thanks everybody!
    This is it. The other homeowner has no requirement to clean up your property and you have no responsibility to let him/her tear yours up.
  6. #6
    ralph31 is offline Member
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    I'm curious about the following statement just posted.

    "This is it. The other homeowner has no requirement to clean up your property and you have no responsibility to let him/her tear yours up."

    This neighbor created a nuisance and a trespass onto the poster's property.
    Why is this neighbor not responsible of alleviating the damages he created
    in his trespass? Does this mean, I can do as I please to my neighbors property then not be responsible for the damages? I don't like the appearance of my neighbors rear yard. Does this mean I can plant something onto his property as a visual barrier and not be responsible for the cost of removing that trespass?
  7. #7
    fudge is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you Ralph31!!

    I was wondering the same thing in regards to that post. Wouldn't it also mean that your neighbor's dog could use your yard as its bathroom for years and years and never have to do something about it?

    We are very frustrated with this issue, but I guess I haven't been able to convey the entire situation very well.

    We used to clean up their vines, for YEARS, but it's a tough and time-consuming chore and we have a billion other things of our own to do around our house and yard and we don't want to continue to be their clean-up crew because they can't control what they planted. I wish I could better explain how awful vines are to deal with, too. These things grip and adhere and not only are they wrapping themselves into our trees (arborvitae, sp), but they are all over our fence boards as well. IT IS A HUGE JOB and an ONGOING JOB to keep up with these things and we just don't understand why it's okay that this is still happening. To "just" cut them back isn't simple and it doesn't take care of the problem. To "just" poison them most likely isn't legal plus we have our own plants to worry about. We are also talking about something like 40 feet of fence/yard. Not a small area. This is not an odd tree branch or two invading our yard ~ that we deal with on all sides of our yard and that's no big deal. This is also not the odd sucker from the neighbors' plants, which we also just pull up on occasion as the need arises. Vines are plants from hell!! And again, these stupid things are also damaging our fence!

    Anyway, thanks for your post Ralph31; I appreciate your asking that question of the last post. Sincerely, "fudge"
  8. #8
    BelizeBreeze is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph31
    I'm curious about the following statement just posted.

    "This is it. The other homeowner has no requirement to clean up your property and you have no responsibility to let him/her tear yours up."

    This neighbor created a nuisance and a trespass onto the poster's property.
    WRONG. Under law, the vines created the nuisance.
    Why is this neighbor not responsible of alleviating the damages he created
    in his trespass?
    The neighbor did not trespass. The vines did.
    Does this mean, I can do as I please to my neighbors property then not be responsible for the damages?
    Learn to read. You can do as you please (within the law) on your OWN property. In this case, there is no trespass and no damage caused by direct negligence of the neighbor.
    I don't like the appearance of my neighbors rear yard. Does this mean I can plant something onto his property as a visual barrier and not be responsible for the cost of removing that trespass?
    Now you're being a jackass. You cannot plant something on his property. You CAN plant something on your own property. and, if it encroaches, the neighbor has the right to trim it to the property line.
  9. #9
    ms.magoo is offline Member
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    neighbour's vines an our property

    Boy oh boy. This is getting confusing a bit, lol. I would have to say that it was the neighbours human hands that created this nuisance, which in fact has amounted into a trespass onto your land an fence. I would send that neighbour a heavy handed registered letter stating the facts of this matter. Stating, that you want every single piece of that bad vine off of your fence an property line, period. Also put into that letter that if this nuisance continues to grow on your fence, it will leave you with no choice but to seek damages for their human hands planting those bad vines. And if they don't comply to your demands, then take pictures of the fence an vines, an also that letter to a good atty. Get the lawyers advice an then proceed to solve the bad vines situation. Just my take on it. I see it as this, if someone, anyone, damages my personal an real property, then there is a legal recourse on it.
  10. #10
    BelizeBreeze is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ms.magoo
    Boy oh boy. This is getting confusing a bit, lol. I would have to say that it was the neighbours human hands that created this nuisance, which in fact has amounted into a trespass onto your land an fence. I would send that neighbour a heavy handed registered letter stating the facts of this matter. Stating, that you want every single piece of that bad vine off of your fence an property line, period. Also put into that letter that if this nuisance continues to grow on your fence, it will leave you with no choice but to seek damages for their human hands planting those bad vines. And if they don't comply to your demands, then take pictures of the fence an vines, an also that letter to a good atty. Get the lawyers advice an then proceed to solve the bad vines situation. Just my take on it. I see it as this, if someone, anyone, damages my personal an real property, then there is a legal recourse on it.
    And the neighbor will tell him to kiss his ass and the judge will tell him to trim his own damn vines.

    GEEEZZZZZZZZZZ People, learn before you speak.
  11. #11
    rmet4nzkx is offline Senior Member
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    What type of vine? They must like cold. Have you ever thought of over fertilizing them by mistake?
  12. #12
    ms.magoo is offline Member
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    I still disagree.

    Even if the neighbour tells you to kiss his ass, amounts to nothing. Lets put it this way, if you can follow my thought here. If I was to go over to your car Belize, an decided to paint it a colour I wanted on a portion of it, would you not seek damages, for the damages I did to your car ? Hmmmmmmmmmmmm, now lets think about that eh ? This is the same bloody thing, its just a fence that is being slowly destroyed from vines that shouldn't be attaching themselves to it. If that fence is on your land, then it is your personal property, an that neighbours vine should not be allowed to encroach onto it an slowly destroy it. Oh an lets just say as well, that would you, Belize, be willing to allow your own personal property, being your fence, destroyed, would you just cower an allow that to be done ? Then have to incur the costs of replacing that costly portion of your fence in order to keep allowing that nasty vine to do it all over again ? Please get a grip on what I'm trying to say here. The vines should be cut an contained to that neighbours yard an not allowed to venture onto the neighbours property line an fence. Oh an also, by the way, I do read an learn, so I am now suggesting that you go an look up "personal property" an enlighten yourself on the definition it will bring into your brain. Touche'
  13. #13
    BelizeBreeze is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ms.magoo
    Even if the neighbour tells you to kiss his ass, amounts to nothing. Lets put it this way, if you can follow my thought here. If I was to go over to your car Belize, an decided to paint it a colour I wanted on a portion of it, would you not seek damages, for the damages I did to your car ? Hmmmmmmmmmmmm, now lets think about that eh ? This is the same bloody thing, its just a fence that is being slowly destroyed from vines that shouldn't be attaching themselves to it. If that fence is on your land, then it is your personal property, an that neighbours vine should not be allowed to encroach onto it an slowly destroy it. Oh an lets just say as well, that would you, Belize, be willing to allow your own personal property, being your fence, destroyed, would you just cower an allow that to be done ? Then have to incur the costs of replacing that costly portion of your fence in order to keep allowing that nasty vine to do it all over again ? Please get a grip on what I'm trying to say here. The vines should be cut an contained to that neighbours yard an not allowed to venture onto the neighbours property line an fence. Oh an also, by the way, I do read an learn, so I am now suggesting that you go an look up "personal property" an enlighten yourself on the definition it will bring into your brain. Touche'
    You really do want to prove your ignorance don't you?
  14. #14
    ralph31 is offline Member
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    On whose property were the vines planted?

    From the original post:

    "(It[fence] is many inches within our property.) At the time, one of our neighbors (on the side) asked if they could grow vines on our fence and we said yes. "

    My interpretation of this post is that the original plantings were made onto
    the property of the poster and then spread further onto the property of the poster. If this is the case, then I feel, the poster has every right to remove the plantings from where they were originally planted and where they have spread onto his property. This may not rid him of the vines if some of the planting were made on the neighbors property.

    The drift of my post is that the poster has every right to destroy vines that were planted onto his property provided he/she did not have some obligation based on the original permission that he gave.

    I am aware of much of the things the poster must be careful of, don't trespass by pulling the vines that were planted by the neighbor on the neighbor's property, spend big bucks on a current survey, check with a lawyer with deep real estate experience, and much, much, more. Some
    of those "do it by the book" solutions can cost a lot of money.

    I am the bamboo poster. My neighbor planted bamboo on my property just outside of my fence line that was one plus foot into my property line.
    He also put up a brick post onto my property. He removed the brick post, but he would not remove the bamboo. I cut it as close to the ground as I could,
    used roundup in the cut stalks, etc. Even though he called the police on me and the matter is still not settled, the bamboo has been cut down and browned out for almost a year. Let him look the brown stalks. I can't see them as they are outside of my fence. That bamboo spread all over my yard that is within my fence. I dared the neighbor to sue me with the statement that I would sue him for $19,999.99 for ongoing original and continuing damages from his trespass and present attempts to utilize the narrow strip of my property as a dumping ground for rotting logs.

    Who knows where this will end up . . . . .civil court . . . . criminal court or
    the emergency room?
  15. #15
    fudge is offline Junior Member
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    Hi again!

    Gosh you guys, I sure appreciate the comments and input but I think the only person who TOTALLY "gets" the situation is Ms. Magoo.

    The vines, for all practical purposes, are planted in our neighbor's yard. Some could be on the property line or within those "inches" we still own on their side but to just simplify this situation, let's just say that all of the vines are in the neighbor's dirt.

    We have, FOR YEARS, been dealing with these vines growing ON OUR FENCE as well as INTO OUR YARD.

    The vines are DAMAGING our fence. They are damaging both sides of the fence, not just the side that faces our neighbor.

    As for the vines that are growing thru the fence and under the fence and over the fence, those vines are taking over OUR YARD and OUR LANDSCAPING (meaning our trees and grass).

    This is a neighbor who plants things, but then doesn't seem to have the time to CONTAIN and MAINTAIN what she's planted. Is it fair that we have to clear her vines off of our fence and out of our yard? If they had a dog, and it kept using our yard as a bathroom, would it be fair that we have to clean up after their dog and also repair our grass?

    There are 2 reasons we've had enough. One, the damage to our fence is extensive and two, we can't keep doing her work for her summer after summer after summer. My husband recently had surgery and can't do it anymore, and I also can't do it due to health reasons so where does that leave us? Are we now supposed to pay to have someone do it for us? I don't get that logic.

    Maybe if everyone pretended the object (property) being covered and damaged by vines was the side of our house they would understand the situation better?

    And to BelizeBreeze, would you honestly put up with this same situation on your fence and in your yard? Would you honestly spend HOURS and HOURS of your time to clear these vines not to mention bundle them and haul them to the curb for pick-up? I think you'd tire of it after one summer. And don't forget that your fence is getting damaged and you're the one who paid a lot of money to put the fence up.

    Thanks to all of you that stop by and leave comments ~ It all helps us try to figure out what to do. And P.S. to Ralph31 ~ Your bamboo situation sounds just awful! Makes me almost think my neighbors aren't such jerks afterall. Good luck to you! Sincerely, "fudge"

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