Once upon a time, there were two trees in our front yard. They were very close together, and impeded each other's growth. They also dropped such a thick carpet of acidic needles that virtually nothing could grow. They also made most of our front yard shady (which was nice) and kept natural light out of our home (which was not).
So we decided to take one out. It would allow the other to grow better, open up the yard for other plants (such as blueberries, which will thrive in the still-highly-acidic soil), and let light into our house.
Daddy and Grandpa carefully made a wedge cut in the tree trunk, so that it would fall across the lawn--not hitting the house nor falling into the street...but if one looks carefully at the photo, one can see that the tree did not stand straight...
...and it did not fall straight either.
Thankfully it fell mostly on the sidewalk, baby privets (the beginning of our hedge), and the very edge of the road--only filling out as far as a parked car would have. Traffic was not detoured, and nobody called the police. Thank heaven!
Daddy and Grandpa cut it up quickly, cleared the road, and now we have light, space, blueberry bushes, and firewood for this coming winter!
Hubby and I were discussing, and he commented that while he knew it was best to cut the tree down (from the perspective of allowing the other one to grow better, also for lighting our home, planting our flowers, and just pure asthetics...), but it's still a little hard to realize that in a matter of 30 minutes, they had killed a tree that had been growing for 36 years...(yes, we counted the rings). Hopefully ecological karma will forgive us, as we planted a tree last year and one this year and plan to plant 3 next year...