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Redditor Refuses To Remove Poison Ivy From Their Property Because It Keeps Neighbor’s Kids Out

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Not everyone needs to be friends with our neighbors.

But since we will likely see them on a more than regular basis, should they reside down the hall or in the house next door, it’s always wise to at least be on friendly terms with them.

And sometimes, the easiest way to do so is to keep to ourselves, and make sure we don’t do anything which might bother or affect them.

The neighbor of Redditor Acceptable-Neat8443 recently requested if they could remove something from their yard which had been causing physical harm to their children.

Something the original poster (OP) wasn’t the least bit willing to do, partially because they believed doing so would negatively affect their peace and quiet.

Resulting in the relationship between the two becoming anything but neighborly.

Wondering if they were being fair in their refusal, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for refusing to get rid of poison Ivy at the edge of my yard?”

The OP shared how even though an element of their yard frequently caused them problems, they were adamantly unwilling to honor their neighbor’s request to move it.

“A family with young children recently moved into the house next door.”

“The border between our yards, mostly on my side, has a ton of poison ivy.”

“I’m extremely sensitive to it, so I haven’t tried to control it except when it starts to grow too much into my yard.”

“Even when I do remove it, I have to suit up and wash everything thoroughly and I still somehow end up with a rash.”

“One of the parents came to my door last week to ask me to remove the poison ivy because their kids have been getting rashes when they play in that part of the yard.”

“I said that I couldn’t do that because of my sensitivity, but that they could just get it removed on their side and as long as their kids stayed in their own yard it wouldn’t be an issue.”

“They said that even if they did that it would grow back into their yard from my side and that I could pay a company to remove it if I wouldn’t do it myself.”

“I said that I would only agree to that if they paid for all of it.”

“They refused and said they would be looking into local laws about nuisance plants.”

“We’re not on speaking terms anymore.”

“Am I really the a**hole here?”

“It’s their problem, so why should I have to pay for it?”

“They could just teach their kids to avoid poison ivy like I do.”

“I could understand it if I had planted it intentionally.”

“But poison ivy is a native plant that was here before I was and it’s an important food source for bees and birds.”

“Quite frankly, I’m grateful for it because it’s been keeping their loud kids away from my yard who were really annoying me whenever I was out in the garden.”

Fellow Redditors weighed in on where the believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

While the Reddit community was somewhat divided, the majority felt that the OP was, indeed, the a**hole for refusing to remove the poison ivy.

Most people felt that since the poison ivy was proving to be a problem not only for their neighbors’ children, but also themselves, the only right thing to do would be to remove it, and it was petty of the OP not to, with many wondering why the OP and their neighbor didn’t split the cost of hiring a professional.

“If you’re sensitive to it, why WOULDN’T you want to remove it?”- swishystrawberry


“Offering to split the cost strikes me as a very reasonable compromise.”

“Digging in makes you an ah neighbor.”

“Celebrating it as a poison child deterrent even more so.”

“Your neighbors will figure out the laws and act accordingly, and will always hate your guts.”

“It’s so nice having friendly neighbors who help each out but you chose poison.”- jbwise1221

“I don’t understand why you keep the poison ivy that you are so sensitive to.”

“It’s a weed and a nuisance and an allergen.”

“You can plant other things for the little creatures, maybe even plant a hedge to keep the neighbors out that doesn’t cause rashes and require moonsuits to get near.”

“YTA.”- CharmingSpend3947


“Jeez, why not just do it because it’s literally the neighborly thing to do?”

“I, too, had poison ivy growing at the edge of my yard, growing through/under a fence into my neighbors’ yard.”

“I texted my neighbor and asked her to meet me at the fence so I could show her where it was so her son wouldn’t run into before I could kill it.”

“And then I took care of it, and told her to let me know if she saw any more growing.”

“Why is it hard to just be a decent person?”- ElKristy

“It’s a weed, you did not plant it, it is almost impossible to kill.”

“If it was easy you would have killed it.”

“But they are your neighbors, with kids, just like weeds, hard to contain, and offered a solution to hire a professional and help you both.”

“You should have split the cost, or tell them how much of it you can afford.”

“If you met them half way with a good attitude, you might have solve your issue and still be friendly.”

“You are NTA for the poison ivy.”

“YTA for how you handled it.”- eormani

“The real reason you’re letting this poisonous plant continue to grow and encroach on your neighbor’s property is so that the kids will not be able to play in that section of their own yard.”

“You are intentionally keeping a poisonous plant around that is harmful to both you and your neighbors so they can’t access that part of their property.”

“How completely selfish.”- prairiemountainzen

“You exposed yourself in that last sentence because you actually enjoy inhibiting their use of their property.”

“Subjecting them to an ongoing cost to keep their kids safe from your petty annoyance at kids being loud is so immature.”

“YTA.”- Somewhere_in_Canada1

“Okay presumably you are in America so maybe the laws are different but in the UK you are responsible for keeping your plants, especially invasive ones, off others land.”

“Aka normal ivy, overhanging trees etc.”

“YTA for not ensuring it doesn’t move over to their side in my opinion.”

“Why should they not be able to enjoy their whole garden/yard because of your plant?”- stephie1492

Others felt the OP was somewhat justified in wanting to keep the Poison Ivy, for natural preservation, but should have still considered removing it owing to the bad reactions they and their neighbors’ children got from it.

“This ones iffy.”

“Nuisance plants are something that can be contested in many places.”

“I’m conflicted as to why this couldn’t have been split cost like a fence situation sometimes.”

“Seems a bit excessive to end up on no speaking terms because of a poisonous plant but that’s just my opinion.”

“Where I agree with your wildlife support, poison ivy isn’t the sole source of food for either species you specified and wouldn’t cause any negative impact removing the small chunk shared in your yards I assure you.”- DescipleofPaimei

While several felt that the OP was well within their rights to leave the poison ivy there, as they could do as they so choose when it came to their own yard.


“It’s op’s yard, they can choose whether to leave it there or get it removed, unless it is 100% free to get professionally removed, it is op’s choice to deal with it or not.”

“If it bothers the neighbors so much then they can go ahead and pay for it, it’s none of op’s business if they don’t like the plant and it’s not fair to demand op to cough up the cash to get it removed for their kids.”- Plush_IRL_2510


“It’s not your problem and they can deal w the poison ivy that’s in their backyard.”

“I’d also keep it around so the kids would stick to their own yard.”- RRiverRRising

“I am going to go with NTA here.”

“It’s not like you have a huge problem of you have it removed, but you also just don’t care to spend the resources to do it.”

“I mean if the parents are not sensitive to it, tell them they can remove it.”- N1ghtfad3


“You know why?”

“Because it’s YOUR yard.”- FloofyDino


“They should take the opportunity to teach their kids to identify harmful plants.”- Colzamann

Arguably, the OP can do what they want with their own yard.

So if they don’t want to hire professionals to remove the poison ivy, they’re under no obligation to do so.

However, as it seems to be an ongoing nuisance to them, and not only their neighbors, one can’t help but wonder if they would be happier with it gone as well?

Hopefully a resolution which will please everyone will eventually arise.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.