Homeowner pressured by intrusive neighbor to make huge landscaping change: ‘[He] is lying to you’

One confused homeowner came to Reddit to settle a dispute with their neighbor about a tree in their yard.

“Neighbor insists my tree needs to come down,” the Redditor said in their post on r/arborists. “Says it’s unhealthy?”

“Not only does it not look sick, it looks very healthy."
Photo Credit: u/CanIGoHomeYet / Reddit
“Not only does it not look sick, it looks very healthy."
Photo Credit: u/CanIGoHomeYet / Reddit

According to the Redditor, the tree was around 40 years old. “I love this tree and the shade it provides in the driveway,” they said. Just a year prior, at the time they’d purchased the house, they had hired an arborist to look the tree over and had received a clean bill of health.

It wouldn’t be the first time a neighbor has asked for a healthy tree to be cut down. One homeowner had a major dispute with their homeowners association over a “diseased” tree that turned out to be a peeling river birch — a species that naturally has peeling bark when healthy.

This neighbor was firm enough, however, to make the Redditor doubt themselves, so they brought several photos to the professional and hobby arborists of the subreddit for a second opinion.

The photos showed a thick, well-established tree in the corner between a driveway and a sidewalk. It was taking up a generous portion of the Redditor’s yard, with roots spreading several feet away from it on all sides; but it seemed to have healthy leaves, and there was no obvious rot, fungus growth, or sign of injury.

The commenters saw no more cause for concern than the original arborist. “Not only does it not look sick, it looks very healthy,” said one user.

“Your neighbor is annoyed of raking leaves and is lying to you,” another user speculated.

The r/arborists community did identify one threat to the tree’s health, though: the neighbor.

“Your neighbor is going to kill/cut your tree,” said one commenter. “Set up a camera. Yesterday.”

“I’ve got three on the front of the house. Two of them have a direct view of the tree,” the original poster reassured them.

It’s a smart precaution to take. Not only does the tree provide shade and beautify the yard, but as another commenter pointed out, healthy, older trees can raise property values by 20% to 30%. At the same time, they help filter pollution and heat-trapping gases out of the air, doing their part to make a cleaner, cooler planet.

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