We're moving to our first home next week and there's this big tree in front of it. We would like to know what kind of tree it is and if we can cut the lower branches (5-6 feet) without causing harm.
Al Maki is right about taking off branches from the bottom of a conifer. It is not recommended only because of aesthetics and wind resistance. Christmas tree on a stick type of thing.
This is a cute home! Someone boo booed with tree selection. Yet it is so healthy! I'd want to keep this tree for sure. Thinning it throughout the height and lightening that skirt would definitely work in a similar fashion as Al Maki explains.
I'd like to see the distance from the tree to your home and a picture from the side of your little home and property of as much as possible for scale. Where is it you live, zone for planting and a close up of the foliage? I think the problem is scale of that tree to your home.
If this tree's mass were balanced in your landscape with another 'huge' planting or two, your home would look like a home in the woods. Thinning, cutting branches from the main trunk will 'lighten' this tree bring it back into scale with your home. Adding 'extensions' of your home out into the landscape will also tame the size of this tree. Such as awnings, arbors, pergolas, screens.
These trees look best in parks and larger landscapes with no pruning just as yours looks right now. The thinning will open peek a boos of your home's siding and your home will look more substantial. Let's go slowly and please send a few more pics! Thanks!
A conifer but without seeing the needles up close and knowing where you live the species and even genus is beyond me. Regardless, as a conifer you can certainly take off branches from the bottom. (Don't take off the top.) I've been through this twice on different properties in very different climatic zones. I'd suggest you take off only one ring of branches at a time and wait a few weeks to see the effect - the branches above will probably sink down. Keep doing it slowly until you're satisfied. But it's better to error on the side of caution and wait until next year to take off another layer. If you take off too many of the bottom branches and don't like the result, you're stuck because they won't grow back.