My great uncle Boris has always been pretty handy on the ornamental arboriculture front – from pollarding and coppicing to grafting and espalier techniques, he does it all. On the more practical side of things, though, he seems to have a bit of a blind spot. For example, one of his trees if currently overhanging into his neighbour’s yard, and he has been studiously ignoring their increasing frustration with the situation.
The neighbours would, in my opinion, be totally within their rights to ask him to prune the tree back, seeing as it’s beginning to block their window in a major way. I think the only the only reason they haven’t done this yet is that he’s always charming them with homemade jams and pies. Now that I think about it, I doubt he’d be physically up to the task of trimming the offending branches. But he could acknowledge that it’s becoming an issue and dial in an arborist service. Melbourne has been his home for thirty years, but he still feigns being new to the country and not knowing who to call on for this sort of thing.
It’s amusing to me that Boris can be so enamoured of ornamental pruning techniques, and yet have not the slightest bit of interest in things like routine crown thinning, deadwood removal and giving a dang about footpath clearance. This situation with the neighbour is quite a benign situation relative to some of the oversights Boris has pulled off in the past. I remember from when I was a kid in Adelaide that he once allowed a large shrub in his front yard to spill across the footpath and onto the nature strip.
I don’t know what the deal is in Adelaide, but here in Melbourne, tree trimming companies are perfectly abundant, and there’s no reason Boris’ neighbours should have to put up with this. Perhaps I’ll make the call myself; it’s possible that Boris won’t even notice. But I have my suspicions that his apparent obliviousness is actually just his way of entertaining himself.