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Aster's avatar

What can be done about this annoying tree waking me up?

Asked by Aster (14908 points ) January 21st, 2013

Here is one thing I hate about neighborhoods. The next door neighbor has a huge tree in her side yard; her yard and my side yard are connected. So at certain times of the year a nut or something falls off her tree branch onto my window and wakes me up. If the branches were low I’d cut them back but they’re high up. It sounds crazy but it’s like it’s TIMED to fall just as I doze off to wake me up with a start.
It’s a loud sound as if someone throws a walnut at a window. Is there anything I can put on the window to muffle the sound or something? The screens are up in the attic.

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15 Answers

FutureMemory's avatar

I just wanted to tell you @Aster that the title of this question is totally awesome, haha. Reminded me of talking trees, like right out of Wizard of Oz.

augustlan's avatar

You could hire someone to trim the branches that are on your side of the property. I’m pretty sure that’s legal, but not positive, so check first!

Putting the screens on would certainly help. Maybe you could drape some soft fabric outside the window? Not sure how well that would hold up outside, though.

Aster's avatar

The woman who lives there is not friendly. I’d rather sleep in the kitchen than get caught trimming her tree. I did think about the fabric thing on the window, thanks @augustian but I’m afraid it would look too mobile homey and then she’d really hate me. That would otherwise be my choice.

Bellatrix's avatar

I would trim the tree (or pay for someone to do it) too. If she doesn’t like it, tough. It’s disturbing your sleep. You aren’t taking down the whole tree, just the branches that are causing you problems. An arborist could do it in a way that won’t hurt the tree. I would let her know you need to do this but if you think she is going to be horrible, send a polite note rather than doing it in person.

Aster's avatar

My s/o said we can’t trim it because it’s her tree. The entire side branches would have to come off thus ruining the looks of the stupid tree.

Bellatrix's avatar

I don’t know what the law is where you are but here, if it’s in your garden, you can trim it. Check your local by-laws or ring your council.

Only other thing is wear earplugs to bed!

Aster's avatar

It’s in her yard. Just the side branches are over our side yard. I use a loud fan every single night. That has no effect on a tap noise , though.

Bellatrix's avatar

The branch is in your garden though. You can trim the part that’s in your garden here. Even if the tree itself is next door. Anyway, hope you resolve it @Aster and sleep better. Sounds like you aren’t well and need a good night’s kip.

CWOTUS's avatar

I don’t understand why you’re so determined to stay on your neighbor’s good side if she doesn’t have a good side for you.

In the first place, I don’t know of anywhere in the USA where you cannot trim a branch that overhangs your property. If I were you I’d hire a tree trimming company to give an estimate – to you – and at the same time you can ask them. You can be pretty sure that they’ll be up on the law in this regard, since it’s their business, after all.

If the estimate is too high for you, or you decide not to do the trimming, then I would suggest a “bumper” above the window. An acorn or nut is not going to “fall onto” a vertical window; it can only be blown into the window. So put an “eyebrow” above the window. It doesn’t have to be tacky or obvious. It can be a piece of wood trim placed horizontally above the window, with a little fabric or neoprene padding on the top surface so that nuts falling on that won’t make the objectionable noise. Make sure to angle the trim downward slightly so that you don’t collect nuts, leaves and broken twigs above the window.

The only time a nut will hit the window then is if it’s thrown or blown onto the window with a strong wind.

Aster's avatar

He just said that only wind could blow a nut onto that window just like you stated. But we have a lot of squirrels. In fact, there was one out there just now . So they could be running up the tree, doing what squirrels do to nuts and then the remainder drops down.
If we were to trim off the branches growing on top of our roof the tree would have only those little short branches left. But yes; we do have right to trim off those branches.

glacial's avatar

If squirrels are dropping the nuts from your roof, then the problem is not with the tree. Even if the tree was entirely on your neighbour’s property, the squirrels could be leaping from that to your roof. I think the only thing you can do is to deal with your window. Do you hear noise when the nut hits the roof, or only when it hits the window? If only the window, @CWOTUS‘s suggestion is a good one.

From the tree side of things, an alternative to trimming the branches could be to remove the nuts, before they are ripe enough to fall. I wonder if an arborist would do that. Are they produced in the summer, while the leaves are on? Do they persist in the winter?

And then… there’s always earplugs.

Aster's avatar

@glacial thank you. Since I only hear the nuts bang the window when I’m in bed I don’t know exactly when they fall except for now. They cannot be falling off the roof since there is an 18” overhang around the house so I’m sure they’re in the rain gutters. It is winter now and they are indeed hitting the window but there is another time of year that a whole lot more of them fall onto the yard. We have another tree on the other side of the house that overhangs the roof and I recall walking to the mailbox under an umbrella for safety’s sake. I hope nobody saw me since it wasn’t raining.

augustlan's avatar

Ooh, maybe a window awning would work. It would have to be one made of fabric (canvas, I think?), and not a metal or plastic one, of course.

Aster's avatar

GA @augustian

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