Hedges: Will neighbour's excavation kill my cedar hedge?

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by Hank, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. Hank

    Hank Member

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    Hello,
    I am new to this forum and frantically seeking advice. A real estate developer recently purchased the residence next door and will be tearing it down in the next few days. Part of his plan is to remove his cedar hedge which is about two feet away from my mirror image cedar hedge. The hedge is about 15 feet tall and appears quite healthy.

    My concern is that his excavation and removal of his hedge might damage or even kill my cedar hedge. He will be using a backhoe to remove his hedge and will likely cut parts of the root system of my hedge as they have likely encroached upon his property.

    My questions are:

    Will the cutting of the roots (approximately 1.5 to 2 feet from the trunks of my cedar hedges) endanger my hedge?

    Is there anything I can do to prevent their damage in light of the excavation?

    Do I have any rights to prevent him from harming my hedge or holding him responsible for any damage?

    I am very concerned because these hedges provide valued privacy and are likely irreplaceable.

    I would very much appreciate any insight in this matter.

    Thank you
     
  2. jessiehewong

    jessiehewong Active Member

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    I think you are ok.
    Some roots of your cedar will be cut, for sure, but is not enough to kill yours.
    cedars are pretty hardy, some roots being removed will not hurt it that much.

    I remove cedar roots that come to my flower bed every year in spring, because my flowers won't grow with tons of roots.
    They are still growing very nicely. I have to remove every year to allow my flowers to breathe.

    So, don't worry.
     
  3. Hank

    Hank Member

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    Thank you. That is very reassuring.
     
  4. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    Talk to your neighbour. May be he could cut his trees at the ground level or slightly below instead of excavating. Point out to him that keeping your hedge healthy and beautiful is in his best interest!
    Exposing your hedge to the elements on the side that was so far entirely protected can be enough stress to your trees, why to expose them to more than absolutely necessary?
     
  5. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Removing a few roots occasionally is a whole lot different to removing the whole lot in one go all down one side. I'd say your hedge is at very high risk of being killed if he uses a backhoe that close to them; also, if not killed outright, it may become unstable and liable to windthrow.

    In general, people are permitted to cut 'trespassing' parts of a tree, but only where it does not endanger the health and safety of the tree. So in this case, the action would not be permissible. But local legislation varies, so you may need to find out what applies in Ottawa.

    Aslo point out to the new neighbour that the 'inside' of the current double row will have little if any foliage; removing his side will leave him looking at a brown hedge which won't green up. He would be best advised to keep his side too, if he wants a good-looking boundary.
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Yep.
     

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