The house we bought had a substantial oak tree right in front of it. It didn't have that much girth, as trees go, but quite a bit of height and made me nervous being wrecking ball distance from our domicile. Most people we know told us it was a lovely tree and we should leave it there. I got many quotes on taking it down anyway. All but one quoted very high prices, insisted that the tree looked healthy and perhaps we should just look into taking better care of it. We went with the guy who gave us the relatively cheap quote of $ 1,600 and agreed that the tree was too great a risk. Fitting us in his schedule was not easy, because he had to rent a crane and we had to cancel the first appointment due to a goat conflict. In the intervening months I mentally questioned the decision. It was such a lovely tree after all, sure it shaded the entire front yard and caused moss to grow on our roof, but if it fell on the house, we were insured after all...then a few massive branches fell next to the cars...then my parents' basement got flooded with sewage and I got front row seats to how stingy home insurance companies really are...so I was really relieved last week when they took the tree down and we found at that it was rotten to the core and infested with bugs. It would have fallen, maybe on the house, maybe on the cars, maybe across the electrical wires or just with enough force to smash our driveway, but in all scenarios it wouldn't have been fun. So hurray paranoia and taking preventative measures.