We have a large (18-20' tall, 5' diameter) Beaucarnea recurvata in our backyard. One of the branches is growing downward at about a 45 degree angle and is interfering with our pool deck walkway. It's about 4' long and 3" diameter where it attaches to another main branch that is probably 5" in diameter. We'd like to remove the 3" diameter branch. Is it safe to do so? We don't want to risk any damage to the tree.

Pony tail trees if healthy can tolerate removal of the some branches. The ratio of the branch you are trying to remove 3" in diameter compared to the parental branch 5" in diameter is large. When the branch is more than half of the size of the parental, decay may develop.

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