River Birch Tree 4th Trunk

Asked May 2, 2018, 8:56 AM EDT

Hi, One of the trunks on my river birch tree is growing in a weird angle that may be problematic in the future. The trunk starts out on the outer side of the tree, and half way up, the trunk starts to curves back in and across to the other side of the river birch tree. I have a red arrow pointing to the trunk that I'm referring to in the image that I attached. What I'm afraid of is, as the tree trunks grow and get bigger in diameter, the trunk will start merging with the other river birch tree trunks. Will this be a problem? If so, would you recommend removing that trunk later in the fall? Or should I leave it? Thank you!

Dakota County Minnesota river birch

3 Responses

If the trunk the arrow is pointing to is leaning into the center of the clump it should be staked to bring it way from the center. Staking to move it out and away should be a very gradual process. Eventually, if left to grow into the center, it will interfere with the other trunks and the canopy. River birch trunks in a clump do fuse when they reach a diameter great enough to touch the another trunk. If you don’t like the shape of your clump with 4 trunks and want to remove it doing so next winter would be the best time.

Thank you for the response Evelyn. So there is no harm to the tree of the trunks fuse together, correct?

Clumps will fuse at the bottom. Multi stemmed clumps are very attractive but do not live as long as single stems. Most clumps live decades but not a century.