Homeowner accused of ‘allowing leaves’ to ‘blow over’ into neighbours
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Not all neighbours get on and help one another out. One lady took to Reddit to explain a dispute she was involved in regarding leaves falling off her tree and blowing around the neighbourhood for others to clean up.
She posted a photograph of the letter she was sent, and sarcastically captioned the post: “Because I work all day and can control where the wind blows.
“Was mailed to me (probably by my neighbour’s wife), envelope postmarked the next town over.”
The letter read: “Dear neighbour, I drove by your house today and then by your neighbour’s.
“I saw that poor old man, who I believe is 85 years old, working most of the day cleaning up leaves. He has worked other days too cleaning up his leaves.
“I couldn’t help but notice that you’re allowing the leaves from your yard to blow over on his yard. Shame on you!”
The post received hundreds of comments, with very mixed responses.
Someone wrote: “Unless the 85-year-old tells you he has a problem with it I wouldn’t be too worried.”
Another commented regarding the annoyed neighbour. “If it bothered them so much, why didn’t THEY help the old man rake the leaves?!”
And one chimed: “Shame on her…for only driving by and not helping him but instead using her time to write a letter.”
One mentioned how leaves are good for the ecosystem: “You shouldn’t rake up leaves anyway. They decompose and are good for the soil. You should shred them and leave them.”
Another agreed: “The only time you should worry about the leaves is when they block drainage. Leave are good for lawns and help them bounce back after the winter frost.”
A third said: “We don’t rake or get rid of the leaves. It is best for the environment to leave them. If my leaves blow into a neighbours, then maybe they just need to be okay with it. Yeah, I love helping others when I can, but how rude of the person that wrote the letter!
“Also, when did people start thinking leaves were something they had to get rid of? They mulch up in the mower come spring and the nutrients are great for the soil.”
But one argued: “As a homeowner, this is common courtesy…especially if you’re making an 85 yo man continuously clean up your leaves.”
“It’s kind of a [bad] move if you’re not taking care of your yard at all and letting it bleed into his hard work. Just hire someone if you’re so busy dude,” a second remarked.
There is some official guidance when it comes to leaves falling off a tree in your property and onto someone else’s land.
According to Hellis, an Arboriculture and Landscape design service: “It is generally accepted that a leaf attached to a tree, belongs to the owner of the tree but when leaf becomes detached from the tree, it becomes a free agent and when the leaf lands, it then belongs to whoever owns the ground onto which it falls.
“Tree owners do not have to collect the leaves that have fallen from their tree onto a neighbour’s property. Additionally, tree owners do not have to accept back leaves that have been gathered from the neighbour’s property albeit they originated from the tree owner.
“Indeed, it is unlawful to return fallen leaves back to someone else’s land without their permission (this includes highway land such as the road and the paths and verges running alongside it).”
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