To prune or not, a mature Quercus Alba
I am new to Bellingham, WA and have had a difficult time finding a certified arborist, so I thought I'd post this to see if anyone has advice.
There's a gigantic (how's that for specificity?) and apparently entirely healthy white oak on my lot. It's closer to the house than I'd like, and has a slight lean toward the house too.
The tree has three massive lower limbs (beginning roughly ten feet up the trunk) shading a lawn and a vegetable garden a bit too much, so I'd like to have them removed, but that's where my two concerns arise.
First concern: I fear that removing the lower limbs will make the tree "top heavy." That wouldn't be good. If I remove the three lowest limbs, the next major laterals would be about five feet farther up the trunk.
Second concern: I've been looking around on the Internet, and there seems to be a general consensus that it's best to leave very old and otherwise healthy oaks alone. In other words, the pruning I'm considering might just be asking for trouble (disease and pests).
Does anyone have any thoughts on this?