The Dangers of Improper Tree Pruning

Concord Tree Service

Trees offer homeowners so much, while requiring little in return. They provide shade and add beauty to any landscape. But did you know your mature trees can become a safety hazard if they aren’t pruned correctly? When trees become diseased or die, we offer Concord tree removal, but hopefully your trees just need a regular pruning schedule to keep them healthy. Read on to learn more about the dangers that can result from improper tree care.

A Botched Job

The most obvious downside of improper pruning, from an aesthetic standpoint, is that it’s the equivalent of a bad haircut. There’s really nothing you can do but let it grow out. In the meantime, your trees will look a bit awkward.

Weakening Trees

Poor technique can also weaken trees, making them more vulnerable to a number of things, like storms. It’s possible for the inner wood to become less dense, even though the tree looks healthy from the outside. When this happens, it increases the likelihood of broken branches.

The Risk of Injury

Inexperienced pruners run the risk of accidental injury to themselves, as well as property. Trees are heavy. Even branches often weigh a considerable amount, so they can cause significant damage when falling from what may seem like even a minor height.

Cutting through wood requires sharp, heavy-duty equipment. And a novice won’t have the experience needed to properly secure branches, or know where it’s best to cut. These kinds of mistakes can be fatal.

Branch Decay

Trees are alive, which means that while necessary for the structural integrity of the tree, pruning creates wounds that take time to heal. Improper pruning can compromise the health of a tree, creating needless cuts. Over time, this can lead to decaying branches.

Concord Tree Removal

We hope you now have a better understanding of the importance of proper tree pruning. If you’d like to schedule an appointment or speak with us about our Concord tree removal service, please call our office at 925-233-6877 or email us at alex@sexytrees.com with any questions! We offer free estimates.

Tree Trimming: How to Determine When Your Tree Needs It

Walnut Creek Tree Pruning

If you’re a homeowner, you know how satisfying it can be to renovate and maintain your own property. Most homeowners have yards where they can sit and relax, let children and dogs run around, or plant a garden. Trees are an essential part of any landscape design. They provide beautiful homes for wildlife, give us oxygen and shade, and allow for places to hang hammocks or swings. But keeping your trees healthy is essential. Here, we’re going to talk about how to identify when it’s time to call in a tree trimming service to help your yard flourish.

Tree Trimming vs. Pruning: What’s the Difference?

While tree trimming and pruning are similar services, there’s a distinction. Understanding the difference will help you determine if you need one or both of these services performed.
Tree trimming is done to make sure that a tree, shrub, or hedge grows in the shape you want it to. It’s primarily meant to ensure that the tree looks good and doesn’t become an overgrown eyesore.
Pruning, on the other hand, is done for the overall health of the tree. When pruning, a professional will remove dead or infected branches to ensure that it continues to thrive.

When Are Tree Trimming Services Necessary?

There are a few signs that tree trimming and pruning services are necessary. However, in general, aim for at least twice a year. If six months have passed, it’s a surefire sign that it’s time to call someone in. Even if you don’t think there are any issues with your trees, an expert may be able to identify some that you wouldn’t notice. This is also a preventative measure. You don’t want branches getting infected because too much time lapsed without pruning.

It’s also a good idea to hire a tree trimming service to keep foliage from spilling over a fence into a neighbor’s property. There are actually some legal issues you can become entangled in if you allow this to happen, so it’s best to take precautions and avoid any disputes from arising. Additionally, if you happen to notice branches drying on any of your trees, pruning services are a must. If you don’t cut off these branches, they could infect the rest of the tree and cause a lot of problems.

Bring In the Pros!

Deciding when to get tree maintenance can be a challenge, but there are a few signs that it’s time to get the job done. Now that you understand the difference between tree trimming and pruning, you’ll know when it’s time to call in the pros. We’re a 2018 Yelp award winner, and since our services have only improved in quality since then, you know you’re hiring the best. Keep your trees sexy!

How to Handle Overhanging Branches

Berkeley Tree Care

A tree belongs to the individual who owns the land on which it grows. However, if you own a property on which the branches of trees overhang, you are usually permitted to chop back the branches to the borderline. You don’t need to get the owner’s permission before removing overhanging branches, but it’s a good idea to inform them before doing so – they are less likely to complain about it.

If you do plan to get rid of overhanging branches, there are certain matters you should bear in mind:

 

Dangerous Tree

If you think that a tree of your neighbors could be dangerous to your property and house – you should discuss it with your neighbor. If they are not willing to do anything about it or not allowing you to act, contact your local authorities.

 

Possibility of Damaging Property or Hurting Someone

If you damaged the property or injured someone while removing overhanging branches, the owner of property or the injured person may claim damage coverage from you. This is a good reason to employ a professional arborist to perform the job for you. You should also check that they are insured against property damages and injuries, before employing them.

 

Possibility of Damaging the Tree

If you damaged the tree while removing the overhanging branches, the tree’s owner could bring a claim against you for trespass or damages. If you aim to get rid of a substantial part of trees, hire a professional arborist.

 

Possibility of Trespassing

If you remove the trees branches beyond the boundary line without the permission of your neighbor, you will commit a trespass. Obtain legal advice if you are in doubt to figure out the boundary line.

 

Possibility that the Tree May be the Matter of Tree Preservation Order

If the tree in question is the subject of a tree preservation order, you may need to get permission from your local planning authority before doing any work on it.

 

Ownership of the Overhanging Branches After the Removal

The owner of the tree remains the owner of any branches, even after the branches have been removed. Therefore after removing the branches, you should return them, together with any fruit that is growing on them. If you fail to do, your act will amount to stealing.

Before removing the overhanging branches ask the owner what they would like to with the branches and any fruit growing on them, rather than throwing them back into their backyard. If you are unable to speak to the owner of the tree, write to them clearing up that you aim to dispose of the overhanging branches, for example, seven days of their removal.

 

If you’re seeking professional help or have questions, please feel free to contact us at Sexy Trees.

Autumn Tree Care

Tree Service Concord

Autumn is not only a beautiful season but also a brilliant time to plant many trees, along with preparing your trees for the winter season. Extensive periods of intense heat can weaken trees, making them more vulnerable to infestations. Helping your trees start to recover from the hot circumstances as they head into winter is significant to care for their long-term health, which also makes them less at risk to storms. Autumn tree care is a must for your trees.

 

Here are special instructions for outside tree care as the season changes:

 

Watering

At the start of autumn, make sure your trees are getting enough water while the weather changes from hot to cold. Water your trees until the soil freezes. Avoid watering after this point so as not to over-water the ground.  This will assure your trees have enough water to live during the winter.

 

Fertilization

As the leaves begin to change color and fall, look for signs that might point out your trees have a nutrient problem and may require fertilization. Keep in mind, fertilization can encourage rapid new growth, which could be injured in the winter, therefore, fertilize in the spring instead if possible. To conclude if your trees need fertilization, some of the things you can look for:

  • Leaves varying colors and falling earlier than usual.
  • Reduced development in branches and leaves.

 

Pruning

Make certain to remove any dead, unhealthy or spoiled branches. They all serve as points where illness or pests could enter that can cause further damage. And also, removing the dead, diseased and spoiled branches will make your trees look better. You can also trim branches that aren’t growing the way you would like.

 

Planting

Numerous trees can be planted during the autumn. Check with your local nursery to see which ones are good for autumn planting. Trees have a better chance to get their roots established because of the cold temperatures. Another benefit to planting trees during the autumn season is that many nurseries discount their plant supply.

 

Prevent  injuries

Branch breakage can be caused by frost and snow gathering or chewing and rubbing by animals. You may stop problems with young trees by covering their base in a hard or plastic guard. Wrapping trees with burlap or plastic cloth also can avoid temperature harm. However, it is essential to remember to remove the wraps and guards in the spring to avoid damage when the tree begins to grow. Damage to branches and trunks from plow blades or a sharp shovel can be harmful to trees.

 

Care for Young Trees

Since the autumn season is a perfect time to plant new trees, it is essential to consider that young trees are typically not developed enough to survive the constant freezing and thawing that might occur and young trees are especially susceptible to extreme temperature changes that come with winter, especially in colder areas. One thing you can do as a preventive measure is to place a wide layer of mulch around the base of the tree.

If you have questions about managing autumn tree care, contact Sexy Trees today!

 

 

How Does Mistletoe Harm Your Trees

Mistletoe Removal

Do you have mistletoe on your property? If you have mystyldene, all-heal, bird lime, golden bough, or devil’s fuge, then yes. You have mistletoe.

It’s leaves are part of a fun Christmas tradition that encourages you to a kiss while standing under it. But it’s actually very harmful to your trees. Although the evergreen plant is quite beautiful with the fragrant flowers it produces in winter, this poisonous berry does more harm than good.

Mistletoe is native to Nevada, California, Arizona, Baja California, as well as Sonora and Sinaloa, Mexico. Mistletoe is a semi-parasitic pest that grows on branches of deciduous trees, which his why you’ll want to have it removed by a professional.

How Does Mistletoe Harm Trees?

Mistletoe is a semi-parasitic plant that sends out its root-like structure into tree branches. This small evergreen shrub then steals necessary water and nutrients from its tree host. The mistletoe then continues to grow larger as it continues to damage the tree.

Although mistletoe spreads slowly, when not stopped it can be harmful to trees. When a tree is infested with the plant, it can become stunted, less vigorous and even be killed if additional stressed from other environmental factors are present. Things like root damage, drought, insect infestation, extreme temperatures, disease and mistletoe infestation can all kill an otherwise healthy tree.

If you see that mistletoe is growing on your trees, you can prune out the infested branches. But just cutting it with the branch won’t kill mistletoe; it’ll only slow down its growth. You can’t get rid of mistletoe unless you remove all the infected limbs of the tree. Special care must been taken to avoid over pruning, which is why you want to hire a professional arborist to walk this fine line for you. 

A professional arborist prune in a way that balances your need to eliminate mistletoe with your trees need to retain branches. At the same time they can also aid the tree in it’s recovery. Removing other stressors from your trees can help ensure their recovery and resistance to future infections.

Tree Pruning Tips in Time for Spring

Alamo Tree Service

In preparation for the spring growing season, there are a few things you can do to help your trees stay healthy and strong for years to come. These aren’t large tasks, in the scheme of things. As you know, trees don’t ask much of you in general. With a few days of attention a year, you can have hearty, lush trees for years or decades.

Start Before Spring Growth Begins

While your deciduous trees are still bare, visually check them for signs of disease or damage that might be masked by full leaf cover later. This is also the best time to prune, while pruning is least likely to spread pests or diseases that are inactive in winter. Target dead, unhealthy, or dangerous branches for pruning, and follow safe tree pruning tips.

If you have any doubts about proper tree pruning, educate yourself on tree pruning. Hire a professional if you aren’t sure you can do it in a way that’s safe for the tree, and safe for all people and property involved.

Readying for Blooms

Before your trees bloom, they’ll need to be in good health to get through the energy expenditure of blooming! Ensure they’re prepared by using a long-lasting fertilizer at the very start of Spring. There are multiple fertilizing and nutrient-delivering options available, talk to your local arborist if you’re not sure what option is best for your tree and goals.

Spring in Full Swing

When spring has fully arrived, it’s time to renew mulch under your trees, making sure you’re using an appropriate mulch for your landscape and applying it properly. This’ll prevent weeds and grass from leaching nutrients away from your trees, and preserve moisture for your tree’s roots.

If you need help with pruning, fertilizing, or other tree care, call Sexy Trees (925) 233-6877

Dо All Trееѕ Need To Be Pruned?

Walnut Creek Tree Care

In ѕhоrt answer, yes. But ѕоmе require more attention thаn оthеrѕ.

Pruning іѕ the most common tree maintenance рrосеdurе. Although fоrеѕt trееѕ grow quіtе well with оnlу nature’s рrunіng, landscape trееѕ require a hіghеr levеl of care to maintain their ѕtruсturаl іntеgrіtу аnd аеѕthеtісѕ. Prunіng muѕt bе dоnе wіth an understanding оf tree bіоlоgу. Improper pruning can сrеаtе lаѕtіng damage or еvеn ѕhоrtеn the tree’s lіfе.

Thеrе аrе mаnу rеаѕоnѕ to prune a tree. It is best to remove dіѕеаѕеd branches to ѕtор spread of the disease аnd to rеmоvе thе nоt-tоо-аttrасtіvе раrtѕ оf thе tree. If a damaging ѕtоrm has left brаnсhеѕ partly brоkеn аnd dаnglіng thе trее will be much hарріеr with thеѕе branches taken оff. Some trees nееd their crown trimmed реrmіttіng better air circulation ѕо that healthy new grоwth wіll start to appear. A can need рrunіng whеn lоwеr branches are оbѕtruсtіng passage, a view оr thе grоwth of lower ѕhrubѕ. Mауbе уоu would lіkе to train thе trее tо grow in a сеrtаіn direction fоr dеѕіgn рurроѕеѕ, thеn pruning could be a consideration.  

It is bеѕt to prune during the dormant ѕеаѕоn in lаtе fall оr winter. However, dеаd branches can and ѕhоuld be removed at аnу tіmе. Pruning during the dormant реrіоd minimizes ѕар lоѕѕ аnd ѕtrеѕѕ tо thе trее. Bесаuѕе fungus іnfесtіоns and/or іnѕесt infestation аrе аlѕо dormant during thіѕ tіmе, рrunіng a tree thеn minimizes the risk оf their further іnvаdіng thе tree. Alѕо, in the case of dесіduоuѕ trees, pruning whеn thе leaves аrе off will allow уоu tо dеѕіgn your cutting with thе overall structural ѕhаре of thе trее.

Which Trееѕ Nееd Pruned the Most?

All trееѕ rеԛuіrе maintenance to ensure орtіmаl health and well-being, but ѕоmе require more attention thаn оthеrѕ.

Willow Trееѕ , Aррlе Trееѕ , Euсаlурtuѕ , Mарlе Trees , Swееt Gum , and Lіndеn Trees are all pruning-intensive types of tree.

6 Reasons Whу Prunіng іѕ Beneficial:

  1. Dеаd branches hinder the growth of hеаlthу brаnсhеѕ.
  2. Prеvеntіоn аnd trеаtmеnt оf disease.
  3. Pruning еnсоurаgеѕ fruit production.
  4. Dead brаnсhеѕ аnd оvеrgrоwth роѕе a huge rіѕk.
  5. Pruning аllоwѕ you tо better see your surroundings.

Tуреѕ of Tree Prunіng

Deadwooding:

This is rеmоvіng dеаd brаnсhеѕ from a tree. It can bе dоnе at any time оf thе уеаr.

Gоаl: Thе removal оf dead аnd dесауеd branches that could саuѕе injury, damage property, spread dіѕеаѕе, or іmрrоvе thе general аеѕthеtіс of thе trее.

Be careful: Normally not all deadwood іѕ rеmоvеd.  Dесіdе uроn a minimum ѕіzе оf dеаd branch bеfоrеhаnd.

Result: A lеѕѕ-dаngеrоuѕ trее, thаt lооkѕ сlеаnеr.

Thіnnіng:

Thining is pruning brаnсhеѕ from a tree for aesthetic рurроѕеѕ. Sоmе thinning іѕ done to reduce wind resistance. Thіnnіng should bе dоnе іn the wіntеr, аlthough lіmіtеd thinning саn bе done іn thе spring. Nо mоrе thаn 20-25% of the canopy should be removed during one рrunіng сусlе.

Gоаl: Imрrоvе air and light реnеtrаtіоn, оr tо lеѕѕеn lоаdѕ оn lаrgеr limbs wіth dеfесtѕ.

Be careful: Mature trееѕ dо nоt tоlеrаtе thіnnіng as well as young trees.

Rеѕult: An open tree cаnору, with оthеr ѕun-lоvіng рlаntѕ еnjоуіng thе аddіtіоnаl sunlight undеrnеаth.

Rеduсtіоn:

Reduction seeks tо lеѕѕеn thе mass оf lаrgе limbs or еvеn the height and ѕіzе of the еntіrе trее.

Goal: Reduce thе length оr hеіght оf a limb, оr tо rеduce thе оvеrаll ѕіzе оf thе tree canopy.

Be careful:  Rеduсtіоn is a ѕсіеnсе and art.  Grеаt саrе аnd knowledge of trее grоwth patterns must be еxеrсіѕеd.

Rеѕult: A tree that іѕ constrained in іtѕ proportions, wіthоut drastic alteration of the cаnору ѕhаре.

Raising:

Whеn rаіѕіng the canopy оf a trее, limbs, аnd brаnсhеѕ in thе lоwеr роrtіоn of thе саnору аrе removed.  Lіmbѕ соnflісtіng wіth houses, traffic, sidewalks, or еvеn other рlаntѕ аrе targeted. ‘Crown Rаіѕіng’ іѕ the industry term.

Gоаl: Sеlесtіvе рrunіng or removal of lіmbѕ to рrоvіdе сlеаrаnсе fоr traffic, реdеѕtrіаnѕ, and landscape fеаturеѕ.

Be careful: Over-pruning low limbs mау nеgаtіvеlу аffесt thе іntеgrіtу оf thе trunk.  Conversely, neglecting thе rеmоvаl оf low lіmbѕ аt a уоung аgе саn hurt thе trее if роѕtроnеd until the limb becomes tоо lаrgе.

Rеѕult: A tree that grоwѕ in hаrmоnу with the ѕurrоundіng lаndѕсаре, and allows other features of the space to function properly.

Newly-planted trееѕ ѕhоuld not bе рrunеd untіl thеу are ѕеttlеd in thеіr nеw growing ѕроt. Prunе оnlу іf thеrе happens to be аnу damaged or brоkеn branches. Dо not prune the top оf the trее аѕ thіѕ could alter the structure оf thе tree excessively, ассоrdіng to whісh tree species it is.

For pruning or help understanding what your tree needs, contact Sexy Trees today.

What’s The Right Way To Prune: Pollarding, Reducing or Topping?

Mistletoe Removal

 

If you have large trees in your yard, you might be concerned about their size and growth. Large trees look beautiful, but they can reach overhead lines, become unstable, and be dangerous in a storm. Typically, trees need to be pruned and maintained for their health and your safety. While there are many methods of pruning, here we look at three common methods.

Pollarding

This type of pruning is used to reduce the overall size of a tree to fit a defined area and offers a longer-term solution. It involves removing the upper branches or top of the tree in a way that creates denser foliage within a smaller canopy. At first, pollarding may not typically create a very attractive appearance, however, as new growth appears, foliage becomes denser and much more appealing. One advantage of this approach is that it maintains the tree in a juvenile state, which can help the tree to live longer. The tree also has less height, which makes it less susceptible to wind damage.

Reducing

Reducing typically involves cutting back limbs to their point of origin on the tree. Unlike pollarding, it does not create a long-term solution. The tree branches will grow back and will require reduction or other methods of pruning again in the future. Reducing mostly just shortens the length of branches and stems. Reducing may be needed to keep trees away from overhead lines. It can also help protect very large trees that are otherwise at risk of being blown over in bad storms or dropping branches in a dangerous way.

Topping

Tree topping involves removing large branches, whole tree tops, and even the top of the tree trunk. It may be done to reduce the tree from view or limit its shade. This approach can be deadly for some tree types because it removes the parts of the tree that are necessary for it to sustain itself. The new lack of shade on bark can lead to too much sun exposure and tree decay, while also removing the leaves that are the tree’s energy source. This approach is sometimes used to promote new growth, but it is a risky approach, as the tree is more susceptible to insects and fungi.

The Right Type Of Pruning

Pollarding, reducing, and topping are just three methods for tree pruning. Choosing the right technique depends on the type of tree and the demands of the space, which is where the assessment of a skilled arborist can help you make the right choice. Where possible, milder and less invasive methods of pruning, applied regularly to control growth and tree shape, usually create the best outcome for trees.

If you need pruning for the trees in your yard, it’s best to connect with a professional arborist or tree service. They can survey the area, assess the trees, and make recommendations for your best pruning options, then carry out the job correctly. This helps preserve the appearance and health of your trees, while protecting the safety of your yard and home.

Can Pruning A Tree Help To Slow Its Growth?

Alamo Tree Removal

Keeping trees and shrubs in good condition involves regular tree care and pruning to maintain their health, and to keep them under control. Tree pruning helps to conserve a tree’s energy, manage its size and change its shape. But can pruning a tree actually change a tree’s growth?

Benefits of Tree Pruning

Tree pruning can help to keep your trees neat and tidy and is an essential service that can be offered by a qualified arborist. Pruning can remove dead or diseased branches, thin canopies, change the shape of tree canopies and improve fruit crop. Having your trees trimmed regularly is essential for optimum tree health.

Pruning Effect on Canopy Growth

Pruning both immediately changes the characteristics of the canopy and impacts growth within the canopy. Because the leaves are the energy and food producing centers of a tree, pruning live tissues will always have an impact on growth. However, pruning dead tissues and branches simply clears them away, without impacting growth.

Skillful pruning by an experienced arborist can help to control the size and shape of your canopy. The more that outer growth and primary branches are pruned back, the more growth will be concentrated on smaller branches close to the tree. This can produce tight dense canopies. For optimal tree health, canopies that allow sunlight and air to filter through can be more beneficial. By pruning marginal branches and leaving active leader branches, your arborist can help you promote trees with healthy growth along the strongest branches, resulting in a large and dispersed canopy.

Pruning Effect on Root Growth

Any pruning of living tissue will affect root growth to some extent. Pruning back active branches diminishes a tree’s ability to produce food, so there will be less root growth. Care should be taken not to ‘top’ trees when pruning to reduce root growth, as this can eliminate any opportunity for the tree to produce food, resulting in tree death.

While pruning may help to slow root growth, it shouldn’t be counted on as a way to control root growth. If you require the trees in your garden to have non-invasive root systems, it’s better to choose tree and shrub varieties that have non-invasive roots naturally.

Pruning Effect on Fruit Growth

Pruning trees skillfully can actually help to produce larger fruit in a greater quantity. Pruning trees in late winter, removing small secondary branches, can help to focus resources and energy on the major branches that will bear fruit. Fruit can grow larger, and in greater amounts, when energy is being diverted directly into fruit production rather than generating new leaves or branches in spring or summer. However, pruning trees to promote fruit growth is a careful process that requires skill to execute correctly. Talk to your local arborist about pruning your fruit tree to yield a bumper crop.

Skillful pruning can change the way your tree grows in many ways, but unskillful pruning can damage or even kill your tree. Call a professional arborist for efficient, safe and beneficial pruning, for your trees best health and optimal growth.

Who’s Responsible For Trimming That Tree?

Alamo Tree Care

 

If you have trees in your garden, it is your responsibility to provide tree care and tree trimming. But what about trees from other properties that over hang onto yours? What about trees that are starting to infringe on public property or power lines that no one else seems to trim? Could it be that you’re also responsible for trimming those trees? Here we look at the responsibilities of tree ownership, and when you can (and should) trim trees.

Trees Growing On Your Property

Trees growing on a property remain the responsibility of the owner of that property. This means that no matter where the tree branches hang, if the tree trunk is growing is growing on your property, it is your responsibility. Taking care of a tree on your property means checking that it’s free of pests and diseases. This is important as an infected tree can begin to infect the trees around it as well causing widespread problems in an area.

It’s also important to have the branches of the tree you own trimmed regularly. Overgrown branches can infringe onto neighbors properties and public property, and can create a hazard if they grow too large and fall. Taking responsibility for the trees and plants on your property is an essential component of tree care and health.

Trees Overhanging On Your Property

One of the most common complaints that councils receive is that a tree branch is hanging over a fence and into a neighbor’s property. Neglecting to prune and care for a tree means that it’s branches can quickly start growing into other’s properties. These branches pose a problem by taking up extra space, dropping leaves, fruits or seeds, and creating a potential hazard with falling branches.

Fortunately, if you find your neighbor’s branches have overgrown, and they have now grown over the property line, you are entitled to trim them. However you may only trim these branches up to the property line. It is also interesting to note that you are not legally allowed to eat the fruit on branches of a tree that hang on your property. You also must be careful not to affect the tree in any way that could kill or severely damage it. If you cut too many branches or roots and it ends up destroying a tree on a neighbor’s property, you may need to provide compensation for that tree.

Trees And Plants On The Boundary Line

For trees and plants (such as hedges) that sit directly on top of the property boundary lines between you and your neighbor’s home, the question of ownership and responsibility is a bit more complicated. It may be that for trees and plants directly on the boundary line, both owners retain an interest and responsibility for the tree. For any decision involving trees and plants on the property line it’s good to discuss with your neighbor how to best approach their care and how to trim the trees.

Trees Growing Onto Public Property And Power Lines

It’s always best to avoid planting trees in a position that could infringe upon power lines. You may not be able to trim the trees on your property that a growing close to powerlines, as this can be dangerous.  Call a local arborist to trim the trees near your powerline or otherwise you can contact the local electrical company for safe and effective tree trimming.

Ultimately, it’s best to gain as much information as possible, and to talk to your neighbor or local authority before trimming a tree if there is any uncertainty.