Tree lady

Emily Salt stands with what is left of one of her trees. Salt says her new neighbour cut her hedges and trees down the middle because they fell on his property line.

When Emily Salt’s new neighbour told her a portion of what she believed to be her property for the last 20 years was in fact his, and he would “do what he wanted” with it, she told him that was fine.

She didn’t imagine that meant her trees would be cut down the middle and two-metre stakes driven into the ground the next day.

“As summer kept on, he kept coming out and saying, ‘Oh, Emily, high fences make good neighbours.’ I just smiled, but he said that to me about five times. The sixth time, I said, ‘You know … we don’t have high fences around here, we all come out and say hello to each other.’”

Not long after, she said, his “whole attitude changed” and he said it was his property and “he’d do what he wanted with it.”

The next day, Nov. 19, Salt and her husband returned home to the Pleasant Valley Mobile Park on Penticton Avenue and discovered the shocking sight.

“All our trees that I planted … they were all cut in half. Literally in half, and the insides of them were gouged out,” she said. “I went and looked, I couldn’t believe it. I was just in shock. I couldn’t believe anybody would do this.”

The neighbour wasn’t home when a Herald reporter stopped by Wednesday.

Salt had a City of Penticton bylaw officer take a look, but was told the neighbour was within his rights to cut the trees as they crossed onto his property line. She’s now warning others to mind their own property lines if they value their vegetation.

Bylaw supervisor Tina Siebert confirmed a call was made and an officer attended, adding, “We encourage property owners to openly communicate with their neighbors when it comes to situations like this.

“It’s important to remind residents that open and honest communicate with each other will go a long way in truly being a good neighbor.”