Small Maple – Split Trunk

Q: I received a red maple sapling as part of the Georgia Power Arbor Day program. It is growing well in the back yard but it has a split trunk. Should I trim the two limbs forming the “Y” ?

A: You are smart to notice this and to head it off before too late. The tree would inevitably split if you leave it alone.

I think I would leave the “straight” trunk and reduce the height of the other one. I would make a cut on it just above where there is a strong leafy stem coming out from it. The remaining leaves will continue to contribute to the health of the tree but heading the limb back will keep it from dominating the other stem.