We have several very large firs on our property on Saturna Island that are near where we are about to build our house. There are several dead branches, and we would like to have someone come over and climb up the trees and take them down (so as to prevent them falling on our new house). We have been told by some that pruning these trees ("taking the sail out") is good for them, and wonder if we should have this pruning done at the same time as we have the dead branches removed. It has also been suggested that we should have an arborist take a core sample of the trees to make sure they aren't ill and about to fall down. Would appreciate opinions on these issues (especially from Mr. Justice, if he happens to be reading this).