Which one do I chop?

So I have this trident maple and I have inverse taper where these 4 branches emanate from one node.

Any guidance on where to go from here? I’m guess some of these need to be chopped? But which ones?

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Can you post a picture of the whole tree?

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if it was mine I would chop down to one of the lower branches and stick it in the ground for a couple of years to help healing and give a really nice taper. The scar from chopping 1, 2 or more of the other branches would be quite ugly and could take a time to heal. just a thought…

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I would likely take off the one that goes straight up. There’s hardly any movement and taper on it. I might also get rid of the one with the wide crotch (third picture in the front).

It would be nice to see the whole tree and the proposed front before you cut though.

Sorry no idea why I didn’t post a picture of the complete tree

Are we saying cut these three off and maybe reshape the resulting knuckle?

I could then develop the lower right branch to fill out that side of the tree

Also while we are here, any thoughts on the lowest left branch? It comes out the front and has a u bend in it which then swoops to the lower left.

All the other branches grow up which I feel looks more natural for a deciduous… but chopping that off would leave the lower portion naked

That would be the one option as the swelling is quite big. It’s true that the branches growing up look natural for a deciduous but the flaw is that they all emanate from the same point causing the swelling. If you left them until late winter you could do a couple of thread grafts giving you branches lower down and possibly a totally new leader and will greatly increase the natural taper.

Although it’s a knuckle when it has four branches doesn’t it become an extension of the trunk if you remove the straight ‘lower’ branch of the first pair. I would remove that branch and then go back to shape the knuckle either once it recovers or at the same time if it won’t be too invasive.

How did it come out?

I followed Ryans advice and cut it down to two, and wedge cut out the middle. I since stuck it in the ground however to give it more girth


That’s probably sound advice :wink: do you have a photo please?