In a neighborhood feud ignited by a contested home extension, the Original Poster (OP) recounts how their father’s row of towering pines became the focal point of a passive-aggressive dispute. As the trees grew, they cast long shadows over not only their property but also buried grudges and hidden secrets. When the roots of the past intertwine with the present, the entire community finds themselves digging deeper than they ever imagined.
The Dream of Expansion
OP’s father dreams of expanding their one-story ranch home by adding a second story so that his growing family has more room. He and his wife recently found out she was pregnant with twins and are quickly outgrowing their 3-bedroom house.
The Arduous Process
A law-abiding citizen who always follows the rules, OP’s father takes the necessary steps by applying for planning permission. After several bouts of paperwork and conversations with officials, his plan is officially in place, contingent upon approval from the neighboring properties.
The Neighbor’s Opposition
However, a neighbor opposes the plan, stating it would block the sunlight on their property and prevent their large garden from thriving. This one neighbor’s denial legally prevents the permit from getting approved.
A Father’s Revenge
Undeterred, OP’s father seeks an alternative method to prove a point. While buying bunk beds for the older two and two cribs for the new babies, the couple decides to stay in the house as is, but OP’s father plots his revenge.
The Pine Solution
To counter the neighbor’s complaint, OP’s father plants a row of small trees reminiscent of Christmas trees. These trees are known for creating a natural barrier between properties as they grow fast and tall.
Very Tall Trees
As the years go by, these trees, which are a type of pine, grow exceptionally tall. They overshadow the house and property, blocking the so-called crucial sunlight to the neighbor’s beloved garden.
As the trees reach their towering height, the neighbor’s sunlight is effectively blocked. Their extensive garden withers and dies and becomes entirely abandoned. Even their grass becomes patchy and sparse.
Interestingly, the neighbors don’t react or comment on the trees. Their silence makes OP’s father wonder if they ever noticed or cared about the shading trees. He starts to grow suspicious, waiting for the repercussions.
Mysterious Dying Trees
One morning, a few of the pines appear to be suffering. Several of the branches turn brown and wilt. OP’s father suspects the neighbors may be harming the trees in retaliation but has no proof of foul play.
OP’s father notices the neighbors frequently meeting with other community members. Whispers and hushed conversations occur, leading OP to believe there’s a bigger plot against his family. The plot remains unclear, but tensions grow.
The Invasive Roots
The trees’ roots start causing problems by growing into the neighbor’s property. They claim that these roots are damaging their foundation. A new conflict emerges, intensifying the ongoing feud.
The Legal Threat
The neighbors threaten legal action over the invasive roots. OP’s family scrambles to find a solution to avoid court and any possible penalties. The animosity between the two households peaks.
A Surprise Ally
Another neighbor suggests an expert who can safely redirect the tree roots without harming the trees. However, the expert’s work is sabotaged overnight as the equipment is vandalized, and progress is halted. Accusations fly, but no culprit is identified.
Was The Father’s Behavior Appropriate?
OP posts his story online for feedback and advice. He always thought his father was clever, but he also wonders if his actions were just mean. The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter.
One reader said, “My father did the same thing with a line of arborvitaes along our driveway because he didn’t like the look of the neighbors’ house.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote, “I was also petty like that, except that it was to block my neighbors’ illegal building that looked right into my property. I went one step further and planted natives, which attract a $5,000 per tree if they are illegally cut down.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person stated, “I read about the New Jersey case where an entitled homeowner cut down trees blocking his view. Except the trees weren’t on his own property. Between the fines and cost to replace the fully grown trees, it will cost him over $1 million.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another reader commented, “Brilliant, and they’re Leland Cyprus, more than likely. Bamboo would have done the trick in a way more invasive way.”
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on their actions?
What would you have done in this situation?
This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.