Real Estate

Home front: rents rise; neighbors' tree issues

Also, listen to garden radio

A roundup of home and garden news and events on the Midpeninsula, including news on Palo Alto rents, advice on dealing with a neighbor's tree branches entering your property and a local radio show devoted to gardening.

PALO ALTO RENTS RISE SHARPLY ... According to, which keeps track of apartment rents nationwide, Palo Alto rents have risen nearly 1 percent over the past month. Median rents in Palo Alto are $2,550 for a one-bedroom apartment and $3,190 for a two-bedroom. This is the seventh straight month that the city has seen rent increases after a decline in December 2017. Palo Alto's year-over-year rent growth lags the state average of 1.8 percent, but is in line with the national average of 1.2 percent.

YOUR NEIGHBOR'S TREE ... Sometimes it's great when a neighbor's tree hangs over your fence, if it has luscious peaches or lemons growing on it. Other times, branches hang over onto your roof or pool and you'd just as soon they cut the tree back or take it out. Canopy, a Palo Alto nonprofit whose mission is to protect and add to the tree canopy, has some advice. According to the group's website, tree conflicts with neighbors are common. "If a neighbor's tree is bothering you, first read 'Neighbor Law' (Cora Jordan, Nolo Press, 1994). It not only describes the law, but why and how you should try hard to settle your dispute out of court," the website states. Canopy also warns, "Don't damage your neighbor's tree; doing so may turn a minor tree problem into a major liability problem." If all else fails, the city of Palo Alto has a mediation program to act as a third party in helping residents with property disputes. Call 650-856-4062, Monday through Friday.

GARDEN RADIO ... If you're looking for a radio show devoted to gardening, 91.5 FM, or KKUP, airs a radio show called "Old Time Farm & Garden Show" on the fourth Thursday of the month from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Call 408-260-2999 or 831-255-2999 with your comments or questions. This radio show is co-hosted by UC Master Gardeners Jim Maley, Bader Kudsi and Sharon McCray. A wide variety of farm and garden topics are covered on each show and listener calls are encouraged.

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