In winter, the trees may be bare of leaves, but they should still have an elegant shape. I love the thin nakedness of the branches, like veins reaching up for moisture into the sky. Here's a nice example of how a winter tree should look:
However, I'm sure we're all aware that the Tree Amputators are out there -- people who convince homeowners to do THIS to their trees:
Even two years after this disfiguring procedure, the trees still look like THIS, when all their neighbors are leafing out:
I was so saddened to see these lovely specimens abused recently.
And the end result is often this. These homeowners had 2 gorgeous, large trees in their front yard 2 years ago. Last year, they had them lopped. The poor things never recovered. Yesterday, the homeowners finally had them both cut down. They have no trees left in front of the house at all now. How sad!