I'm new to this forum and not sure if this topic has been broached here before. I have a yard with 4 foot high cyclone metal fence in my backyard and can see and hear my neighbors all the way down the street. I'd like to plant a row of Privet or Arborvitae hedges around the perimeter of the property line inside of my fence. I have several reasons for doing this: First and foremost I have a year old dog who likes to run outside and bark her head off. Second, I have a some trashy neighbors who smoke pot in their backyard 2 houses over and there is a lot of questionable foot traffic coming to and from their house. On the other side of me I have a neighbor who feels inclined to constantly make irritating remarks about my yard and what I need to do on my side of the fence, and a generally live in a pretty noisy neighborhood. All in all I think it will lend a lot more privacy and security to my yard and I think it will look nice.
2 questions on the issue.
1. What is the law in regards to growing hedges along the edge of the yard? My intention is to plant them a foot in from the fence and let them grow up and out from there. Once they hit 6 or 7 feet I will keep the top that level and keep them well manicured.
2. Has more to do with neighborly etiquette - should I ask my neighbors on both sides or should I forge ahead and plant them without asking since they are on my property? I believe that if I ask my nosey neighbor that he will ask me to not plant the shrubs along the side that I share with him. Since the shrubs will grow over the fence line they will create more work for him in his backyard. Am I obligated to offer to help him trim them? My only concern with that is that it begins a slippery slope where he may come knocking on my door once a week for a hedge trimming.
On my other side is an elderly woman who may not be able to trim them herself so I will probably offer to help her if they begin to grow out of control.
Any thoughts, suggestions or input on a happy compromise would be appreciated!