Q: Our new home has a beautiful large maple tree which concerns me. It has grown in three major directions leaving a crotch at the originating junction of the three branches. The crotch is deep and holds a fair amount of water with no drainage. I am worried about the tree rotting in this area. Obviously removing one of the three branches would help but would also diminish the beauty of the tree. Do I have any other options?
A: Your best option is to leave it alone. Tree experts say that leaving the water-holding crotch in place is better for the tree than removing a limb. Your worry is understandable but trees have developed defensive systems for dealing with water in the sunken area. I’m more worried about the mosquitoes that might grow there than I am about the tree. If water stands there for more than a day, crumble a bit of mosquito larvicide (Mosquito Dunks, Mosquito Bits) into it to keep mosquitoes from hatching in the water.