Finally hired a tree trimmer to come and (ahem) trim the trees, and we're quite happy (and amazed!) at the results. We had several goals to achieve: (1) clear the canopy above one of the sycamores out front, (2) trim a branch hanging ominously over the neighbor's driveway, (3) thin out the herd of branches on the trees out front, especially the low riders (and the large dangling dead branch from a recent storm), (4) trim the trees back from the house and garage (some were rubbing during breezy days), (5) take out the small pecan growing into the canopy of the neighbor's beautifully massive pecan (and clear the way for building a stage), and (6) trim the branches that were blocking sun to the wicking gardens.
The most dramatic result was up front. After trimming, the house just pops off the lot! It made me realize that if you're going to put your house on the market, you should seriously consider a tree trim beforehand. On the negative side, there's not as much shade as there was, but there's a lot more growing room (and sun) for the other landscaping plants.
By my eyes, tree trimming is an art. Which branch to take off to make the tree "balance" and look good? These guys did a great job.
Where the stage shall be going...
Cut back from the house.
More sun to the garden!