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Applicability of Rule to Hedge

A landowner who plants hedges has a right not to have the bushes destroyed.  The hedges should be permitted to continue in their natural growth, and both adjoining landowners have the right to ordinarily trim and clip the hedges.

In Patterson v. Oye, 214 Neb. 167 (Neb. 1983), defendants’ grantor planted bushes along the boundary line between his property and the property that was owned by the plaintiff’s grantor.  Both grantors had agreed that the bushes guaranteed their privacy and improved the general appearance of their properties.  Plaintiff’s grantor never claimed ownership of the bushes, but he did some maintenance and trimming. Defendants claimed that the bushes were theirs as their grantor had planted them and plaintiff had told them that she thought the bushes were theirs.  Defendants felt that the bushes were ugly and started removing them to build a stone wall.  It was held that the defendants committed trespass by destroying some of the bushes without plaintiff’s consent, entitling her to damages.

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