In case more encouragement is needed for Daddy/Grampa to come wield his chainsaw in December, here are some pictures of the magnolia tree. It should actually be pretty friendly, I think. Most of the branches I want to take off are in the 3-4" diameter range.
Supplies we have include an A-shaped aluminum ladder that is just barely tall enough to get on the roof (12 foot?) and a pole trimmer. Supplies needed: small chainsaw to borrow.
The tree from the front:
A closeup so one can see the number of smaller (3-4" diameter) branches in the lower part of the tree that need cleaning up:
The area around the base of the tree (also note all the smaller branches that I want to take out):
An oak hanging over the power lines in the back yard that we could mangle with the pole trimmer if we wanted some bonus fun.