How much can I trim my White Pine 1/3? Winter/ summer? Damage my roof

I have two trees that have soft needles, but not sure what it is called (white pine?). Not sure how old they are, but they are taller then our house. The falling needles are making a mess on my roof. I would like to trim them by 1/3 but not sure if that is too much. It's a very mild winter (above freezing). Should I Waite until it gets colder or cut now. And how much can I cut with out killing the tree? thanks.
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The best thing to do with one of them is to cut it flush with the ground.

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lbbss wrote:

If you're talking about taking the top out of it, none. The treee might survive but it will look like the abortion it is.
Harry K
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lbbss wrote:

You can't just trim it. It will look terrible. The only option is it remove it. Too bad you did not have this idea a couple of months ago, you could have used the top as your Christmas tree.
--
Joseph Meehan

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My, are we not all so helpful. This tree has been trimmed many times by the previous owner, but I don't have any other details. And it will look just fine since I will be shaping the entire tree, by trimming it, and trimming the top off.
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Well, people are trying to tell it to you straight, it seems. For the price, you got great advice, depending only on the quality of the info you provided.
If the tree is an Eastern White Pine, the wood is relatively soft and brittle, and if that tree is exposed to the wind, it can easily be damaged by wind/snow/ice, doing damage to the house below. Similarly, were it a Silver Maple, it would consitute a serious threat when it gets big enough.
If a Nor-easter is coming, I'd not stay in a BR on the same side. :')
HTH, J
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lbbss wrote:

You got pretty good advice, based on non-specific information. Cutting off the crown is, in general, a bad practice for most trees because it destroys the natural shape of the tree. Here is a link that gives good general advice: http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/DG0628.html
Pruning during a warm spell might promote a growth spurt that is killed by a hard frost to follow. More to it than cutting, and you would be better off to try to ID the tree - most county/state extension services have planting guides that ID plants and give good advice about care that is species-specific. There are a lot of areas being affected by pine pests, with loads of trees dying; any unneeded stress might finish off the tree. If it hangs over the roof, you might be better off in the long run (which you probably know :o) by removing it and planting a more suitable tree.
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Note: While someone may have trimmed the above ground part, you still have the below ground part. That can damage foundations as well as drains.
It is difficult to tell from here exactly how large the tree is and how close it is to the house and what possible problems may be caused by it. If you really want to save it, hire a professional tree service. You really don't want to try and trim a tree that large yourself anyway.
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Joseph Meehan

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