Sunday, June 6, 2010

It was the landlord, in the neighboring yard, with the herbicide...

The death toll is mounting. I have thus far lost three trees, with three more showing the type of damage that I have come to associate with strong, non-specific, herbicidal chemicals. I don't use these in my yard for a huge number of reasons. I find weeds I don't want? I pull them out.

The landlord of my neighbor's property, however, apparently feels differently. And has been very....unspecific.... in his spraying on the other side of the fence. One of my benches is right up against said fence, and all of the trees affected have come from that bench. I've done my best to wash off the foliage, branches and trunks, as well as deep soil flushes, but nothing helped the ones that have already succumbed. I'm hoping for the other three, but those hopes are not high.

Six bonsai is not a majority of my collection. But that doesn't make the unnecessary loss of trees, all in varying stages of development, any easier. Two in particular were pieces that I was very proud of, and their loss is like a kick to the gut.

Beside the bonsai, my herb garden was also hit, though they have faired slightly better. I've only had to replace two types of sage and a thyme, with a lemon balm hanging in the balance. Which is, in the grand scheme of things, rather minor. My mint (which had been in a pot) was also hit, but has bounced back nicely since I found a corner of the yard (far away from the neighbor so there's no risk of it spreading under the fence) to plant it out in. We'll enjoy the smell of mint around the patch as it grows when we need to mow.

I'll be keeping an eye out for the landlord, and request (as politely as possible) if he could be careful not the spray through my fence. In the meantime, the bonsai bench is getting moved, though to where I'm not completely certain yet. My yard is relatively small.

This whole thing has been fairly frustrating to say the least.


Igorilla said...

Hi Heather,

very bad news! I´m amazed how calm you write about this catastrophe. I would probably go insane.

Anyway, don´t give up and all the best!

Greetings from Austria,

Heather Hartman-Coste said...

Thanks for the good wishes. Trying to be zen about this. It's one of those "There is nothing I can do to change it now, but let's do our best to prevent it in the future" moments for me!


Zach said...

I"m sorry for your losses! It is very noble of you to not get irate at your neighbor about this. Does he know much about your bonsai collection yet? If not, you might be able to invite him over for a tour of your back yard. You can show him your bench and explain that the pesticides he uses have an effect on your valuable trees. Most likely he will appeciate the effort you put into your hobby and be more careful in his applications in the future. Hopefully he will be nice about it. Good luck in whatever you do to address the situastion!

Igorilla said...

I hope that ZEN will also enlighten the landlord some day.
There is nothing sillier than using herbicidal chemicals and especially even baser to destroy all neighbor´s gardens with this s.

Heather Hartman-Coste said...

Thanks Zach. The landlord knows I keep 'weird little trees' and wear a funny hat (sunhat), which about sums up how much he cares as well I think. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, but I'm also moving the bench in the meantime!

And definately on the chemicals. Blech.

Kannan said...

Good blog.