Adding height to neighbor's fence for privacy


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Old 07-12-21, 07:41 PM
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Adding height to neighbor's fence for privacy

The new neighbors installed a basic wood fence along the property line, 6ft tall. It helps with privacy, but really should have been 8ft. Unfortunately they are hostile and not open to conversation at all. I would love to add onto the fence but I can't risk doing anything to it, right or wrong I would pay. The fence is about 60ft long. The soil is terrible and nothing grows well there, so planting trees would be too risky. Artificial trees cost too much. Without touching their fence, is there anything I can put up on my side that will reach 8ft tall, look reasonably ok, and not break the bank? I know it's a long shot, but just in case...
 

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07-14-21, 04:53 AM
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Be VERY careful with bamboo. It can be a real bugger to keep under control and if you think you don't get along with your neighbor now... just wait until the bamboo starts emerging in their lawn.
 
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Old 07-12-21, 08:04 PM
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Unfortunately it would appear that you need to be happy with the six foot fence.
They certainly aren't going to allow you to add on to their fence and even if they did it wouldn't be safe.

You can certainly add trees and shrubs to your side but that isn't going to be a quick solution.
 
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Old 07-13-21, 02:37 AM
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You can't legally add to their fence although you could erect a taller fence on your side of the line. The bad part of having 2 fences back to back is the space between the 2 will allow leaves/debris to collect which will hold moisture and shorten the life of both fences.

Amending the soil when you dig the holes for trees should help them to grow.
 
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Old 07-13-21, 04:09 AM
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Many (probably most) jurisdictions restrict side fences to 6' so there's a good chance a fence above your neighbor's would run afoul of zoning restrictions. I agree with other suggestions on trees or bushes. Find a way to modify your soil to allow trees or find something that will grow in that area. There's everything from cactus that grows in the desert to cypress that grows in a swamp.
 
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Old 07-13-21, 04:32 AM
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"...is there anything I can put up on my side that will reach 8ft tall, look reasonably ok..."
You can build your own fence. Make sure to check with your local zoning and inspection departments to make sure you comply with all requirements. If you and your neighbor are not on good terms there is a good chance they will call the officials when you do something they don't like. As already mentioned, many areas have fence height restrictions you must comply with.

Something can grow anywhere including desserts and rocky mountain tops. So, there is something that will grow in your soil. It's just a matter of picking the correct plants. But, you'll have to wait many years for them to grow and fill in to offer and reasonable screening. Excavating poor soil and bringing in good soil is one way to allow more option in plant choices and probably will help them grow faster.
 
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Old 07-13-21, 04:37 PM
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There are annuals that grow as tall as you would like them. hollyhocks, sunflowers, tall corn, morning glories and maybe others. Grapes might work or other vines. Can you build a trellis higher than 6' ? Or even if you go 6' the vegetation can grow taller. Thing is they won't give privacy year round. There are fast growing bushes that might grow tall enough in three years. Where in the world are you? Or if the rules allow a fence taller than 6' maybe you can do something so unsightly that they will build the taller fence to hide your ugly from their view. Put up a clothesline along the fence and when you want privacy hang the dirty linen.
Google spite fences. Are you wanting privacy from the neighbors or privacy against the neighbors?
 
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Old 07-13-21, 05:45 PM
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Adding to my earlier comments, bamboo is an option. One or more varieties are able to grow in most areas of the country. Perhaps best for you could be Red Margin bamboo. It thrives in zones 5-11, does well in many soil types and can easily reach the height you want (or much more) in 3 years. Be careful, though; if left untended it may reach 60 feet.
 
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Old 07-14-21, 04:53 AM
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Be VERY careful with bamboo. It can be a real bugger to keep under control and if you think you don't get along with your neighbor now... just wait until the bamboo starts emerging in their lawn.
 
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Old 07-14-21, 10:00 AM
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I read in a gardening book once that the only way to get rid of bamboo is to sell your house.
 
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Old 07-15-21, 06:06 AM
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I read in a gardening book once that the only way to get rid of bamboo is to sell your house.
Clearly out of control bamboo can be a problem. Controlling bamboo, though, is not difficult. Bamboo can be planted in raised beds or with a bamboo barrier.

I'm not generally a fan of bamboo but if someone wants privacy without waiting 10 years it's the lesser of two evils.
 
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Old 07-15-21, 08:43 AM
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I have three varieties of bamboo and LOVE it. I find it very useful as a source of building material in addition to it's aesthetic value. But, like you mentioned. You have to be smart up front and properly prepare for it. But there is nothing more fun and interesting than seeing a 4" diameter torpedo emerge from the ground in spring and grow a couple feet a day.
 
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Old 07-15-21, 10:50 AM
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What is a bamboo barrier? That is what is the material and how deep does it have to go to be effective. Is it permanent? A neighbor has bamboo in pots. It is quite attractive and contained.
 
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Old 07-15-21, 11:58 AM
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When my grandson inherited his grandmother's house half the front yard was taken over with bamboo. He spent several months removing it. He still had plenty of privacy until the neighbor in front of him removed the bamboo in their backyard [adjacent to his front yard] BUT all they did was cut it down so I expect that bamboo to be back in short order.
 
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Old 07-15-21, 01:36 PM
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Bamboo barrier is a very thick plastic sheet buried forming a circle around the bamboo. Bamboo is extremely tough so the plastic is usually 40-60 mil thick minimum and buried 32-36" deep and the joints are riveted or stitched together so the roots can't squeeze out between the layers. Steel used to be used but it eventually rusts away allowing the beast to escape. It is also important to leave several inches of the barrier exposed above ground so you can see the roots going over the barrier and cut it before it takes root on the other side.
 
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Old 07-15-21, 02:01 PM
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What is a bamboo barrier? That is what is the material and how deep does it have to go to be effective. Is it permanent? A neighbor has bamboo in pots. It is quite attractive and contained.
Bamboo spreads from rhizomes (stems growing underground) that spread out from the main plant. While bamboo roots can be quite deep, the rhizomes only grow out from approx. 18 inches below the surface. One approach is to build a raised bed. Raising the bed reduces how deep the barrier needs to be. Using pots can work as well.

Also, glyphosate (such as Round-up) can kill bamboo that has been cut to a few inches. But it will take several applications.
 
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Old 07-16-21, 08:57 AM
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Bamboo: Bermuda grass on triple steroids For the application in question pots sound like a good solution. That's pots not pot. The pots could be filled with good soil. Sounds like that might be easier than putting in a barrier and we already know the soil is not good. Might take a different variety of bamboo so might not get nice big poles. I don't really know much about bamboo only when I was a kid when carpet came on a bamboo stick we really thought we had something exotic if we had a bamboo pole.
 
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Old 07-16-21, 09:34 AM
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There is a publication, _Western Garden Book_ published by Sunset Publishing Corporation, the Bible of plants and gardening for the states west from MT to NM inclusive plus AK and HI. Maybe there is a central and/or eastern publication too. And the information for the eastern sides of the eastern states covered in the book apply to the western adjacent states. There are all kinds of plants that make suitable screens listed in the book for most climate zones. A neighbor has oleander. if it were allowed to grow together it would make a privacy screen. It grows fast and is pretty attractive.
Some screens neem more management than others.
Our OP has not told us where in the world he is. Most nurseries and garden centers in my part of the world have a recent copy of "The Book" I suppose a current edition is still in print. Worth a read and maybe worth the investment. I have edition 2001 and use it regularly.
The Book is not cheap but it is well bound in both hard cover and flexible cover and will last years. It is not necessary to buy the new edition each time it is published. No, I am not getting anything for this just spreading the word of a good resource for anyone who grows, or tries to grow or wants to grow stuff, both edible and ornamental ans well as useful.

https://www.sunsetwesterngardencolle...ardening-guide
 
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Old 07-16-21, 10:37 AM
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adding 2 feet of fence my not help much... what is the issue with the existing fence? What are they seeing or what are you seeing that is the problem? If it's sound, not much will help but maybe a noise cancellation device. If they can see in your windows, there are window treatments that limit the vision. Maybe shrub placement in a portion of your yard that will prevent you from seeing each other? Just thinking of what the issues are and fixing those.
 
 

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