Author Topic: Unauthorized Bush Trim  (Read 3791 times)

Stachetastic

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Unauthorized Bush Trim
« on: February 24, 2017, 05:27:37 AM »
We have had tenants in one of our properties for just over a year, and they've been great. My husband and I have even commented to each other that we're so happy they take pride in the property and keep things tidy. However, this week we've had record temps in our area and they took advantage of the weather to prune up some landscaping--mainly a hydrangea that was over 5' tall and at least 4' wide right in front of the house. It was absolutely loaded with blooms every summer and a real showpiece. It appears they may even be planning to get rid of it completely, as all that is left is about a one foot stub of trunk, no branches whatsoever. Do we have any recourse? Should we even bring it up to them? There is no mention of landscaping in the lease aside from their responsibility to mow. I don't have sentimental attachment to this plant, but it would very pricey to replace, and now the front of the house looks stark.

Ocinfo

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Re: Unauthorized Bush Trim
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2017, 06:03:37 AM »
Not a lawyer but I am a landlord. If the lease is unclear or doesn't include landscaping under prohibited modifications to the property then you likely don't have much recourse. Barring something specific, the lease apparently says they are responsible for mowing so trimming a bush would seem to fairly closely related. If there is an HOA, often there is a requirement to replace any greenery that is removed.

All that being said, discuss it nicely with the tenants. Something along the lines of how you appreciate them taking care of the exterior but you would like to know their plans for landscaping since it can be a long term change to the appearance of the home. Main thing I would be worried about is them removing bushes, replacing them with their own plants and then taking those with them when they move...


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Neustache

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Re: Unauthorized Bush Trim
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2017, 06:04:44 AM »
I just googled it - looks like you can prune it all the way back in late winter/early spring and it should be fine.  In fact, it will probably have larger blooms because of it. 

Stachetastic

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Re: Unauthorized Bush Trim
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2017, 06:08:29 AM »
I just googled it - looks like you can prune it all the way back in late winter/early spring and it should be fine.  In fact, it will probably have larger blooms because of it.

This is encouraging! But is there a difference between "pruning" and "decimating all foliage until it is a naked stump?"  I'm hopeful it will rebound, but I doubt it will have any blooms this year. but there's always next year!

Neustache

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Re: Unauthorized Bush Trim
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2017, 06:13:37 AM »
They call it a hard prune.  I'm not a gardener, but I take that to mean a near decimation!  At least you can assume the best about it when you ask them. 

Heroes821

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Re: Unauthorized Bush Trim
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2017, 12:40:11 PM »
I'm not a green thumb, but my grandfather is and he would do this with at least 6 of these in his yard every winter. Down to the ground and those plants would get bigger every year.

I haven't asked him how he avoided killing them but it seemed to work. 

In my personal experience, we did this do a grape leaf plant (no grapes, leaves were for eating) every 5 years or so and it had no issues growing back up in the spring.

Aggie1999

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Re: Unauthorized Bush Trim
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2017, 01:00:31 PM »
If you've got tenants that keep the yard looking nice, take care of the house and pay on time then count your blessings. Don't worry about the bush. The type of tenants you describe are few and far between.

Exprezchef

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Re: Unauthorized Bush Trim
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2017, 01:01:11 PM »
We have three Hydrangeas and prune them back to nearly nothing in the late fall and they always come back in the spring full of blooms. A friend who is a gardener told me about this trick and has worked for the last 12 years. I would not worry too much as long as they are not trimmed down to the roots.

pudding

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Re: Unauthorized Bush Trim
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2017, 01:10:27 PM »
I had that a few years back. Couple moved in and decided there were to many shrubs in the garden so dug one up!

I just sort of rolled with it.

Stachetastic

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Re: Unauthorized Bush Trim
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2017, 05:26:39 PM »
If you've got tenants that keep the yard looking nice, take care of the house and pay on time then count your blessings. Don't worry about the bush. The type of tenants you describe are few and far between.

So true! We were so thrown by this because most of our tenants let things grow out of control and we have to do a major overhaul when they move out.

2microsNH

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Re: Unauthorized Bush Trim
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2017, 01:52:14 PM »
The only thing that ever decreased the blooms on my hydrangeas was not trimming it! Same with forsythia, raspberry, and lots of other woody perennials.

Stachless

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Re: Unauthorized Bush Trim
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2017, 05:14:10 PM »
I've been click-baited.

Spork

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Re: Unauthorized Bush Trim
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2017, 05:49:34 PM »
I am not a gardener... but the wife is.  I just heard her talking yesterday about hydrangeas and pruning.  Apparently some of them bloom on new growth and some of them bloom on last year's growth.  So this will either help... or take a year to recover.

http://thedailysouth.southernliving.com/2012/06/21/why-your-hydrangea-didnt-bloom/

Dicey

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Re: Unauthorized Bush Trim
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2017, 10:00:21 AM »
I don't have sentimental attachment to this plant, but it would very pricey to replace, and now the front of the house looks stark.
Are you sure about that? I'll bet you could buy scores of hydrangeas for what a tenant turnover would cost you. Forest for the trees, er, bush, and all that.

NoNonsenseLandlord

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Re: Unauthorized Bush Trim
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2017, 08:55:33 PM »
Most bushes can be cut way back.  It still has a lot of roots, so it grows back fast.  The new growth is less woody, and will look better.

Learn about the bush before you criticize your renter.

human

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Re: Unauthorized Bush Trim
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2017, 10:21:35 PM »
Why do landlords lose sleep over such useless stuff? Don't rent out the house if you're going to fret about such nonsense . . . This is the perspective of a long time tenant not a landlord.