tree trimming vs. cutting down

I have a tree in my backyard (I own a townhouse so it's not a real big backyard) that I am considering whether to have trimmed back or just cut down completely. Some of the branches are way overgrown and are now overtop of my neighbor's roof and some of my roof. I am considering whether to have a tree service trim back 5 of the major branches or whether to just have them completely cut down the tree and haul it away. Does anyone know if it's a lot more expensive to cut an entire tree cut down versus just having several of the major branches cut off?
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Good question. Proper pruning verses improper pruning. Over pruning can cause problems. For more on what I mean about dose see here. http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/shigo/DOSE.html
Sure its more expensive, some times, to cut and haul away a tree. If you have to top the tree you might consider having it removed and having a young tree planted and start "Correct" pruning to control height while the tree is young. For pruning go here: http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/tree_pruning /
If the branches had to be lowered with lots of targets below and the tree could be pulled over if removed, the price would be (possibly) less expensive to just cut the tree down. However then you would have to haul the wood away. If you had a wooded area you could leave the wood. For SOME of the benefits of wood see here. http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/SOUND /
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Sincerely,
John A. Keslick, Jr.
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You did not say what kind of tree but I'm of the school that you should not plant trees next to your house that will menace house in years to come. I'd cut it down and plant something that will not grow as big.
Frank
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yes. You'd have to go through the same process to remove the branches in either case, but to remove the tree you'd also have to get the trunk out. Unless there's a clear drop zone, this is tricky, slow, and risky--ergo, expensive.
Why do you fear branches over your roof? They will shade the house, saving you cooling costs in the summer. If the tree is weak or damaged, it may be wise to remove it, but a healthy tree is no more likely to damage your house than a car that leaves the road and crashes into your living room. It happens, yes, but it is rare.
The things to look for are species (a hackberry or a cottonwood are examples of trees I would not want looming over my bedroom; oaks are built like iron and are not likely to fail; others fall somewhere in between and may merit some weight reduction at the ends of long, sprawling limbs), past pruning (a tree that has been topped will never be as strong as one that has been properly cared for), and proximity (if the trunk is touching the wall or foundation, the problem will never go away, but if it is at least a few feet from the house, the branches can be pruned back for proper clearances).
The main concern I have from your question is the phrase "having several of the major branches cut off." In all likelihood, the major branches do not need to be removed. Simply removing small limbs from the bottom and ends of the offending parts of the tree will usually be enough to mitigate the risk. Removing entire large branches compromises the tree's production of energy while creating huge wounds that can serve as entry points for decay, disease, and insect damage. The tree can grow over and enclose smaller injuries rapidly, resulting in a stronger tree in the long term.
You sound like you could benefit from the advice of a well informed arborist. Look for credentials such as ISA (International Society of Arboriculture) certification or membership in ASCA (American Society of Consulting Arborists). A consulting arborist will give you advice without a sales pitch, while a salesman for a company that does tree work may be motivated to agree with anything you say as long as it means he closes the deal. To help you evaluate the advice you receive, I recommend you spend some time reading the information at www.treesaregood.com where you can learn about the warning signs of a hazardous tree and proper pruning of healthy trees.
good luck, Keith Babberney ISA Certified Arborist #TX-0236AT
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