It is tough being Malathion man's neighbor. I sometimes pee in the bushes and I walk around taking pictures of their yards so that I can rag on them in my blog.
This guy has a huge tree problem. His tree is way too fricking big. You can't see this in the picture, but the roots are tearing up his driveway. They will soon be messing with the foundation of the house. There is also too much shade. Nothing will grow under that tree.
If I turn around 180 degrees, you will see what his neighbor is trying to do to fix the same problem.
As you can see he had no grass from the lack of sun. He still hasn't fixed his bigger problem, the roots. Also, he has left a huge frame that will fill up again and keep the grass from getting any sun.
The real fix would be to remove the entire tree. Start over and plant something that doesn't grow so big.
Also, if you are going to trim your tree, leave some foliage. The more the better. Plants can't make food without leaves, duh. This tree will have to use up stored food to crank out some leaves. Once the leaves are out, the tree can start making food again, but it will be stressed out for quite some time because of all the energy it used to get to that point.
While I am talking about trimming, take a look at the house across the street. Does this guy want a tree or a hedge? If that empty frame across the street gets cut down to size, a dense canopy will begin to grow like they have here, but don't take the hedge clippers to it!
Tree trimming should be an "as needed" job. If the canopy is hanging too low, trim up the low hanging branches. If there is too much end weight pulling down a branch, remove the end weight. Fruit trees are a good example of this.
A rule of thumb about trimming is, do not remove more then 25% of the canopy when trimming. Don't let your tree overgrow the area that you want it in and you shouldn't have to worry about that rule.
Lastly, do your homework before you plant a tree, don't take the Home Depot guy's word for it. How big is this tree going to get? How fast does it grow? Is it evergreen or deciduous? How much water will it need? Think about these things before you invest your time and money on a tree or plant for that matter, then your nosey neighbor won't talk trash about you on the internet.