Risk of pine tree damage from trimming

Asked May 1, 2017, 12:51 PM EDT

We have a 60-70 foot pine adjacent to a fence at the back of our yard. As it shades the grass of the neighbor behind us which he states limits growth of the grass. He would like to essentially remove all of the branches that are on the backside of the tree. He has already removed those branches that were up to 20 feet but would need to have some climb the tree to remove the others. I am concerned how this will affect the health of the tree and whether it would be more like to fall in the event of a windstorm or heavy snowfall. Would appreciate any information you can provide. If the pictures loaded correctly one is from my yard showing the trees and the other is looking up the fence from the backyard neighbor's lot. Thank you Gary

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

Removing such a large portion of the canopy will certainly have an impact on the health of the tree, and would potentially make it more susceptible to falling if it's off balance. We highly recommend that you consult with a certified arborist to assess the situation on your site, the overall health of the tree, and whether it could tolerate that much reduction in the canopy. You can find a certified arborist at the following website: http://www.treesaregood.org/findanarborist/findanarborist.aspx.

While such a severe pruning may not be best for the health of the tree, in Maryland a neighboring property owner has the right to trim tree limbs, bushes, or other vegetation growing over the property line back to the property line.