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Conifers/large star pine next to house

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Question
I am in eastern San Diego, there is a healthy, tall (maybe 40 foot) star pine tree towering over our house. It looks nice and provides excellent shade but the roots are very slowly pushing up the concrete path to our front door. Given our location I can't think of any realistic scenario in which the tree could fall on the house . . . lightning strike? Earthquake? Tornado? Hurricane?

I have consulted with various local tree trimmers and get different answers every time. Some say to trim it, some to remove it, some to leave it alone. I thought that trimming was dangerous because star pines are symmetrical and it could mess up the growth?

Any insight would be appreciated.

Answer
No you do not want to prune it back. Conifer unlike hardwood trees will not grow limbs and foliage back. This would not help the root situation but could kill the tree. I would not use the advice of ANY tree trimmer. I would let it be. You might over time have to remove the cement and add more soil and re cement the walkway. It would more than likely result in a raised slop in the area where the roots are. If you like the tree leave it alone.  

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Jim Hyland

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Registered Forester in the Southern US with 30 years experiance in managing pines. Expert in pine forest health from management to control of pests to ID of species.

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