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‘An unfortunate result of neighbors who don’t get along’

Disputes with neighbors have long been fodder for sitcoms, and one social media post may have just given a writing room some lamentable inspiration. 

TikToker Caleb (@caleb_henckel) shared a 21-second clip to the social media platform detailing how one homeowner believed their neighbor’s tree was too close to their house.

Their solution? To cut a “good-sized notch” out of the trunk of the tree.

@caleb_henckel An unfortunate result of neighbors who don’t get along. The structural integrity and future health of this large tree is now compromised. #treework #treeservice #treeremoval #chainsaw #chainsawman #lumber #lumberjack #treecareindustry #stumpgrinding #treehealth #neighbors #neighborproblems ♬ original sound – Caleb

“An unfortunate result of neighbors who don’t get along,” Caleb wrote in the caption. “The structural integrity and future health of this large tree is now compromised.” 

The hijinks of feuding neighbors typically turn out OK on television, but commenters pointed out that the person who damaged the tree may have created a not-so-funny real-life situation for themselves. 

“Leave it like that long enough and they’ll have the whole tree on their property,” one person wrote.

“That will weaken the tree, possibly enough to fall on their house,” another person observed. 

The Weather Channel noted that there haven’t been many studies on deaths caused by trees, but it cited a 2008 study that suggested more than 400 people were killed by “wild-related tree failures” from 1995 to 2007. 

The trunk, which is the main support keeping a tree upright, also helps transport nutrients to the rest of the plant, and damage to the base can leave a tree vulnerable to pests and fungi

While one tree may not seem like a huge loss, zooming out can provide a bit more perspective to this seemingly petty dispute. 

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, deforestation is a major issue, with an estimated 420 million hectares (over 1 billion acres) of forest worldwide lost since 1990. 

Replacing the trees isn’t a quick process either, as most species take many years to mature — at which point they can soak up more than 48 pounds of planet-warming carbon dioxide annually, according to the Arbor Day Foundation

Without more information, it’s unclear if the dispute is ongoing, but hopefully, the neighbors were able to work things out in a way that kept everyone safe and prevented further damage to nature.

Other TikTokers had a range of emotions about the situation, and some wondered if the house was actually younger than the damaged tree. 

“Sad part is the tree was probably there long before the house,” one commenter speculated. 

“Be a responsible tree owner and keep the branches on your own property!!!” another person wrote. 

“No! The house is [too] close to the tree!” someone else said.

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