I really need the opinions of some tree experts.
Please forgive me for the length of my post but I really need to give you a good idea of my overall situation;
We live in an area in the pacific northwest where black walnut trees thrive like weeds;literally! You see them everywhere growing wild along fencelines, building foundations etc.
My neighbor has one such tree which is quite old (I'd suspect 50 years or so as it's about 50 feet tall or so and quite big around) and grows right up against the fence (on his side of course).
The tree has never been trimmed or maintained in any way and was just allowed to grow wild...so much that about 3 or 4 branches had grown well over my driveway, 2 of which began to droop down and scrape against the top of my car when I would pull into my driveway.
I finally called a tree service out to cut back those limbs which were becoming a problem.
I should add that my neighbor WAS aware that I was planning to have this done as he even came out and asked the tree service guy a few questions about how he was going to cut the tree when he was on my property giving the estimate about 2 weeks before the work was to be done.
This was last spring and as this is a huge tree with LOTS of branches we are only talking abot a very tiny percentage of branches being trimmed off.
OK~so now fast forward a year to NOW; The tree didn't leaf out as usual and it looks like most of the upper branches are dead.
My neighbor is convinced that I killed his tree by having those branches cut back last spring. I called the tree service and they told me that they had probably only cut back less than an eighth of the branches hardly enough to send a healthy tree into shock. They felt that this was probably just a coincidence.
Now I can't honestly say that the tree was NOT healthy before I had the trimming done BUT I do know that for years there had been branches falling off of the tree occasionally and moss growing on many parts of it.
So...what do you think?
Did I kill my neighbor's tree?
Would cutting 3 or 4 branches off of an otherwise healthy tree of this size kill it?
Thank you so much for your input!