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Love thy neighbour: Jehovah's Witnesses in court fight over fig trees


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A NSW court has resolved a dispute over fig trees between the Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Seven Hills and a married couple next door, in a case involving "pipecam" footage and a flurry of letters over the fence.

In a decision on September 29, the reasons for which were published this month, Land and Environment Court Acting Commissioner John Douglas found roots in the couple's sewer and and stormwater pipes originated "from one or both of the fig trees" growing in the neighbouring Jehovah's Witnesses property.

The Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses shares a common boundary with the couple's house and the congregation had planted trees in a garden bed near the side of the house in the 1980s, before the pipes were installed.

Read more: https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/love-thy-neighbour-jehovah-s-witnesses-in-court-fight-over-fig-trees-20201031-p56abv.html

 

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It often happens that plants, larger or smaller, are planted too close to the border. Many people who plant plants while they are still young do not leave enough room to grow. After a few years the pl

At first reading, it seems a shame they had to resort to a secular resolution on this matter in what seems to be a matter of simple shared responsibility. (1Cor.6:4-6).The rather emotive and subjectiv

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It often happens that plants, larger or smaller, are planted too close to the border. Many people who plant plants while they are still young do not leave enough room to grow. After a few years the plant spreads in its natural growth and becomes a maintenance problem. Ignorance of how big the plant will be when it reaches its full size contributes to the problem for both parties. There are also those who plant trees along the border and do not really care about the consequences of such planting. There are also wild trees that are left to grow.
Trees and plants are a very valuable thing, but they must be controlled in urban areas, especially between two neighbors.

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At first reading, it seems a shame they had to resort to a secular resolution on this matter in what seems to be a matter of simple shared responsibility. (1Cor.6:4-6).The rather emotive and subjective journalistic viewpoint expressed as "a flurry of letters over the fence" adds to that first impression.

However, we don't appear to have the full facts of what went on here or what the legal implications might have been. May well be some insurance requirements involved as well.

The good news is that the issue appears to have been resolved. I will make a mental note to take care in the future. Micah 4:4. 🙂

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According to law here, and in many European countries if not all:

The owner may pluck the veins and roots of other people's trees and other vegetation from his land, as well as cut off the branches of other people's trees and part of the trunk in the air above his property and keep them for himself, or use these parts of other people's trees..... If he decides to suffer branches in his airspace, he is entitled to the fruits that the branches bear, as well as to the fruits that fall on his land.

Tree roots are a strong force and can damage installations or other things that are underground. If another neighbor was setting up installations, and the tree had already been in the neighboring yard before, he might or should have predicted that roots might be a problem in the future. Whether the plumbing could have been installed elsewhere or not is hard to say now. It depends on the regulations and other conditions at that location.

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