Our back yard is lined with trees on the south and east. We also have a pear tree and two cherry trees. We haven't pruned since we moved here 3 years ago. Guess what we did today?!
Bless her heart, my prior landlady (Ginger) gave us books on gardening and pruning when she found out we bought a house. I've been perusing the pruning book for months and we finally bought the necessary tools. Armed with wound paint, pruning shears, a pruning saw, and a very tall ladder, we headed outside this morning for what I thought would be a quick job. Five exhausting hours later, we called it a day.
The neighbor kids helped us drag giant branches from their yard to ours, because we had to go into their yard to cut the branches that were threatening to consume their house. We cut branches that were big enough to be their own tree. Thanks to the wind, we both got wound spray (I think it's basically tar) all over our hands and faces. You can see my "freckled" hand in the bottom picture. It's a good thing I like hot showers because I basically melted off the tar in a very, very hot shower. We didn't have anything stronger than soap and that just wasn't cutting it.
You can't really tell from the pictures how big the branches are. On the bottom one, you can see the pretty center in the wood, plus the fact that my hand spans maybe half the width.
The worst part? We're not done. Ahh, the joys of being a homeowner.