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New homeowner questions neighbor's landscaping request: 'They said it would cost around $400'

"You are under absolutely no obligation whatsoever."

"You are under absolutely no obligation whatsoever."

Photo Credit: iStock

Moving into a new home is an exciting time, with seemingly endless possibilities about what you can do to make the place truly your own.

If you're lucky, the previous owners might have left some things behind that suit you perfectly, and that's often true for plants and trees in an outdoor space.

However, the neighbors might see new owners as an opportunity to request long-desired changes that would benefit them.  

That's the story for one homeowner, who was just getting settled when the folks next door requested they cut the tree down in their garden that was next to a dividing fence, as the leaves were falling into their yard. 

"She came over last week and explained that she's having yard work done and the company could cut the tree down, then gave us their card," the new homeowner explained on the r/treelaw subreddit. "They said it would cost around $400 to get rid of the tree."

"My partner and I don't think it's necessary to cut the tree down because legally, the leaves that fall on her property are not our problem. Right?" 

It's a hefty bill to be landed with just after moving in, especially for a change that you don't really want

So the original poster sought advice about what they should do next, and the comments section was totally on their side.

"She probably did say this to the past owners," one Redditor said. "They probably said no. You should, too. You are under absolutely no obligation whatsoever to cut down this tree."

"Call the company on the card," added another. "Inform them that under NO circumstances are they to cut/trim any part of your tree. If they seem dodgy, get it in writing etc... I wouldn't put it past them/your neighbor to have them do the cutting without your consent and then say 'oH wE mIsUnDeRsToOd.'"

A healthy, lush tree growing in the yard would be beneficial for the homeowner and the neighbors, despite the leaf debris. 

The tree will bring pollinators that are vital for a healthy ecosystem, and it will capture harmful airborne toxins to improve local air quality. It will also offer natural shade in the summer months, and it will help to keep temperatures low by absorbing heat.

When it comes to the fallen leaves, they also might be useful for the neighbor. A layer of leaves will provide a habitat for insects that can improve soil quality, and as the leaves decay, they will become a natural fertilizer that provides essential nutrients for grass and plants.

Hopefully, these neighbors found a common ground and the tree was allowed to thrive in peace. 

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