Home FARM Why Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

Why Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

by Richie

Fallen Oak


If a tree falls in the woods … why does it always land on the neighbor’s fence?

It’s said that good fences make good neighbors. That’s because you don’t want your neighbor’s cattle herd trampling all over your soybean crop. Which happens a lot on our farm because eventually a tree limb will fall and bust open a fence line and the cows will come through the hole thinking the grass is greener on the other side. 

Some mornings I wake up to find half a dozen steers staring in my window. That means a fence is down somewhere and I’ve got to call the neighbor to come fetch his livestock again.

Cows on the lawn


If good fences make good neighbors then it’s also true that good neighbors make fences good.

Assessing the damage

And being a good neighbor means that when a 50 foot double-trunk oak tree falls into the horse pasture next door you’ve got to clean it up and fix the guy’s fence. So that’s what we did this week.

Tim’s mighty handy with a chainsaw but this huge oak was quite the challenge. A widow maker as the old-timers would say. It fell from our side, got hung up in some other trees, and the giant crown was leaning precariously across the neighbor’s fence. It was a dangerous situation to try to remedy with a chainsaw, and as I found out, you can’t waltz into a hardware store and buy a stick of dynamite anymore. So Tim carefully cut off as much as he could and we left the rest of the huge trunk dangling on our side of the fence.

It was a rare warm day in March and we worked all afternoon cleaning up the mess. Gotta mend fences, ya know. It’s the neighborly thing to do.

We’ve done this kind of work many times before and have figured out a good division of labor. While Tim is busy with the chainsaw my job is to haul off the logs and limbs and stack them in a brush pile. Which gives me lots of time to tramp around the woods and look for stuff. Found an old whiskey bottle and an impressive rack of antlers this time. 

We finished the job in one day but ended up with a lot of scratches and scrapes and were pretty sore by the time evening rolled around. Now, where’s that whiskey bottle?


Lois Dunner March 14, 2019 - 1:50 pm

Great writing and beautiful pictures and very good finds.

Richie March 14, 2019 - 2:10 pm

Thanks, Lois! I’m still sore – lol

George March 14, 2019 - 11:09 am

Funny. Funny. Loved it!

Richie March 14, 2019 - 11:16 am

That’s life on the farm! 🤪

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