Many, many thanks for your responses - very interesting. I don't think I could bare to get rid of the blue coned fir as we bought him in a 6" pot whilst on hols in Norfolk many, many years ago and he's handsome. Maybe he should keep his head!!!
So..... if the 'tree surgeon' cuts the Leylandi it COULD be o.k. if he keeps to the healthy green branches and doesn't go in any deeper back???? The problem with getting rid of them from the front is the extra cost as they are huge and big trunks - they stop people cutting across the front of the corner of the garden (end corner plot) - which was the reason we planted them initially. Does anyone think Laurel would be a good front garden alternative.? It's the extra cost of bringing the 3 front Leylandiis down and the chap having to take it all away which is a concern.
Thank you all ever so much. It's given us lots to think about.
Our neighbour at the back of us has a huge, huge Leylandi, part of which has bulked out and overshadows one of our borders, stopping the plants flowering! That property is now for sale and empty! We asked the tree surgeon when he came round to give a quote, about cutting it back and I got the impression the job was too difficult and if he cut off overhanging branches then all we would see is dead brown wood??? He couldn't do anything about the height, which I suppose is understandable. We have trimmed back as far as we can reach from our side. The tree must be higher than his roof!!! Any suggestions are welcome??
Thanks once again