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 it’s too late. The tree would inevitably split apart several years from now if you leave it alone.
I think I would leave the “straight” trunk alone and reduce the height of the other one. I would make the cut just above where there is a strong leafy stem coming out. The leaves will continue to contribute to the health of the tree but heading it back will keep this limb from dominating the other one.