We had the power company taking down some pines behind our neighbors house where the power lines are. I told my wife to ask someone if they could take the two ugly spindly ones down that were near our deck, the foreman said he didn't think so, that they weren't a threat. Then the foreman came out the next day and I think my wife went out with the baby on her hip or something and the next day the crew was back out taking them down. I still kick myself because I took those two trees to the dump myself, obviously it was before my edumacation here at hearth.com..... Not saying it will happen, but it can't hurt to ask the city sometimes. EDIT: If your friend can afford that house, then he can afford to get the tree dropped by a pro. Like others said, offer to help clean it up for some/all of the wood.