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Last September we planted a hedge about 200 feet long. We used white cedar and the trees were 9 - 10 feet tall. In mid-July my neighbour decided that they didn't care for it, so they chopped anywhere from 4 - 6 feet off of 50 of these cedars. Two of these trees have already died. Some trees look like they have been broken off at the top and not cut. And when the branches go through the fence, and these bits they are allowed to trim, she cuts the whole branch off right back to the trunk of the tree. The company that planted these trees said that they would fill out but never would catch up to the rest of the trees and to keep it uniform, we would need to replace the cut trees. The police officer spoke to a Christmas tree farmer in order to get a second opinion and the farmer said that, yes, they will eventually grow in height although it may take a year. My question is: Will these cedars really grow in height? The neighbour got off with a simple warning to not touch the trees again but that doesn't mean that they won't do it: she figures that cutting branches right off is her right. What do I do? Leave them or replant them?

  • Hi and welcome to the site! I edited out the legal aspect of your question because it's off-topic here: we're gardeners, not lawyers. We can provide advice about the likelihood of your trees growing back satisfactorily. The rest is up to you. – Niall C. Aug 18 '15 at 19:03
  • In the UK, there's a rule - if its overhanging or intruding over your property boundary line, you're entitled by law to remove it - BACK TO THE BOUNDARY only. Any cuttings so removed belong to the neighbour, and technically, they should be handed over to them. It is illegal to, for instance, put your hand through the fence and cut something on the neighbour's side, you can only trim what's on your side. I imagine a similar rule might exist where you are, but you need to check that out for where you live. – Bamboo Aug 19 '15 at 11:24
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Yes, they will regrow. I have seen cedars be chopped down to less than half their original height. They do regrow but are powerfully ugly for a few years.

Providing more water and fertilizer in the spring will help.

I can't help you with property law. Where I live anything that grows into or over your property is yours to do with as you please.

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Heh, heh...I've run into this 'thing' many times and the 'law' only gets you to get the best lawyer you are able. Best thing is to include neighbors at the very beginning so they feel a part of the decisions. Are you sure about the 'white cedar' name? Very ballsy of your neighbors to do this!! Ugh. I never plant anything for a hedge unless I offset the plants. When one dies...no big deal. Won't make a huge visual difference. Please send a picture of this hedge and closeups of the plant. Like to be sure about the type of plant you've got! What is the botanical name of this plant, how far apart did you plant, how high were they when you purchased and who planted these guys? Were your neighbors apprised while you were installing? Were they B&B? (Balled and Burlaped?) Was the burlap removed when planted? What was the watering schedule?

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