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Question DetailsAsked on 6/11/2014

Will removing large branches on one side of a tree, cause the tree to fall over due to imbalance of tree?

a neighbors large tree (trunk diameter = 4' - 5') has 3 large branches (avg dia = 10" - 12") overhanging my house. where these 3 branches meet is a secondary joint that has formed a cavity, thereby making it necessary to remove these branches, for fear of them damaging my house.
These 3 branches are the only branches left on this side of the tree, and by cutting these my neighbor is concerned of the tree becoming unbalanced, thereby causing the tree to fall on his house.
This tree is old, large, but looks generally healthy except for the parts on my property.

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2 Answers


Wow - sounds like a nice old elm or oak or sycamore - with branches that large I sure would not one-side it - both from a stability standpoint and because you are hacking off about half its growth.

For professional advice, you need an Arborist - some work independently or for a commercial tree/plant center, some work for tree trimming companies. Search the List for local ones and what companies they are affiliated with, and their reviews. My guess - now way he will buy off on this drastic a situation, and will probably say the tree has to come down entirely, or at least chop off a good part of the branhes on the other side to reduce the load on that side.

However, from a house protection standpoint - in all states I am aware of, you have the right to cut his overhanging vegetation at any point on your side up to the property line. In many states, there is a legal notice method and period of time required before any cutting that is reasonably likely to permanently damage the vegetation or cause it to fail. This notice gives him time to do it himself if desired. Of course, from a neighborly standpoint you want to jointly do this, but push comes to shove ... check your state regs.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD


This will not cause the tree to fall. You must first have the tree inspected for any weak points. If there is any decaying/rotting, lightning strikes, etc., then it may be possible for the tree to fall due to the poor health of a tree. However, a healthy tree can be ccompletely side trimmed without causing it to fall (100%). Trees trimmed along power line easemeants are done all the time. If this truly occurred then there qould be billions or more falling. People do not understand that a trees root system is also used as an anchor to keep them stable. These roots streach well past double the size of the standing tree.

Answered 2 years ago by Dpeery87

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