The pattern of dendritic branching along with the receptor and channel composition and density of synapses regulate the electrical properties of neurons. Abnormalities in dendritic tree development lead to serious dysfunction of neuronal circuits and, consequently, the whole nervous system. Not surprisingly, the complicated and multi-step process of dendritic arbor development is highly regulated and controlled at every stage by both extrinsic signals and intrinsic molecular mechanisms. In this review, we analyze the molecular mechanisms that contribute to cellular processes that are crucial for the proper formation and stability of dendritic arbors, in such distant organisms as insects (e.g. Drosophila melanogaster), amphibians (Xenopus laevis), and mammals.