purchased a dawn redwood from mail order nursery they sent the 3foot sapling with the very tip of the leader cut off, stating it was to prevent it from breaking while shipping. I asked why not anchor it better and use a longer box. but damage was done, they left about a half to inch stub, in the 2-3 weeks that I have had it, one branch is almost upright, looking like it is becoming the leader but now the stub has new growth, I want this to grow properly, do I cut the stub back very close to where the lower 2 branches are? so the leader continues?
No, I would not prune it now. I would wait and see what happens.
Just guessing without seeing the plant.
If you think it needs pruned, early next spring would be the ideal time to choose what to take and what to keep after the plant is established.
Right now the main concern is to make it through the first year