Young maple with a broken leader

Asked May 14, 2020, 12:49 PM EDT

I planted a Firefall maple tree in late-2017, and about a year ago (say, April 2019) the leader broke off. There are now two branches growing near the top - one adjacent to the former leader and the other slightly below it. There's also a much smaller branch that's growing more-or-less up the middle. The offset "fork" this creates is about 6' off the ground. I'm wondering about how to best move ahead with this tree. Should I select one of the stronger branches as the new leader and remove the others (if so, which one)? Or should I remove both larger branches to allow the smaller, center branch to take over? Other options appear to be either doing nothing and live with the Y or completely removing and replacing the tree. Your expertise is appreciated!

Ramsey County Minnesota

1 Response

Despite the excellent photos and your description, we can't see the branching well enough to give a definitive answer to your question. However, based upon what we can see, doing nothing is not an option.

After seeing the tree onsite, a certified arborist or forester would know what to do in a trice. We suggest asking an arborist to help you decide how to proceed.