NOT the local Mafia (or, as we’re in Wales, the Taffia), but a look at the problems caused by my neighbour’s overgrown trees.

First, the vew from my study window – for the wider angle looking across the conservatory roof. The brick shed is ours, the greenhouse and field is the neighbour’s. as are the trees.

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The view from my husband’s study – the trellis is ours (the Shady Rear Border), but it is not the boundary. That is a stone wall behind the trellis and along the side of our shed.

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Five years ago, we helped our neighbour cut back overhanging branches, he being younger than us (but not that much) shinned up the tree. We cut back what we could – upwards and outward – by standing on the shed roof. It helped, but of course, trees grow and our shady garden is now the dark garden.

 

The original thinning – October 2015.

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We need to catch our neighbour first as we want to trim the branches behind our shed – blocking our light but not, unfortunately, crossing our boundary. But catching him out and about in his garden often proves tricky, so on Saturday evening, Mr O abandoned his dish-washing duties to come and tell me our neighbour was cutting his grass.

I immediately went outside and hovered by the trellis waiting for him to switch the mower off. I’ve learned that I have to approach things delicately, so once we’d had a chat about lockdown, the state of our broadband, his father’s caravan, and holiday plans, I broached the subject of wanting to cut back overhanging branches, including those at the rear of the shed.

To be fair, he said he’d give us a hand (heard that one before) but wasn’t sure when (heard that one too). But a few minutes later as I was warming my mug of tea made an hour earlier, I noticed some branches moving. He’d got his extendable loppers out and cut back several branches, raising the canopy. Mainly, I suspect, to stop us dropping brash on his logpile (leaning agains our shed) and his greenhouse.

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On Sunday morning, once we established it wasn’t likely to rain (it did later), Mr O climbed onto our shed roof with my extendable loppers, and set to work.

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Then we had to clear all the branched he’d chopped off.

11 am

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2:30 pm – and we’ve filled five bin liners with leaves and small stems to take to the Recycling Centre, a plastic crate full of larger stems to dry out for kindling, and a log basket full of cut thick branches, again to dry out. I also have approximately 15 long straight thinner stems to take to the allotment to use as bean poles next year.

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It doesn’t look as though much has been removed…

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…but we can see the difference, especially in the kitchen!

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A job well done, even if my back is protesting from all the bending – and we missed lunch.