Y-Shaped Trunk in Young Maple Tree

I have 6 year old maple tree that was grown from a seedling. It is now about 15 feet in height. About 23 inches up from the ground the trunk splits in a tight Y-shape. The branches from the Y curve upwards nd grow almost vertical. There is a crack forming in the crotch of the Y.
Coming out of the ground, the trunk is about 3 1/2 inches in diameter. Once the trunk forms the Y there is a dominant branch (about 2 1/2 inches in diameter) and a smaller branch (about 2 inches in diameter. I've been told to cut off the smaller branch to prevent the tree from splitting at the Y-shape. Is this good advice?
If I cut the smaller branch off, the remaining dominant branch will then be the trunk of the tree. It will appear to be growing off vertical at the former Y-point. Will this correct itself as the tree matures?
Thanks.
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The main question here is appearance, as a single leader trunk might look more appropriate. This problem would have been easier if you would have attacked it when the tree was much younger. At this point, I would recommend leaving the tree, as it is. The two branches are too big now to try and straighten. An arbortist or tree surgeon might have a better idea what to do. Perhaps some kind of steel band to prevent further widening of the crack
Sherwin D.
powrwrap wrote:

I don't think so. There will always be a bend in the trunk at that point.

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wrote:

If the point is to preserve both branches, it can be done with hardware, but not a steel band! That's like putting a noose around the tree's neck.
The preferred method is to drill through the trunk and put a bolt through it (probably at a couple of places).
But, in the case of a small tree like this, I prefer to remove one branch (the smaller, most likely). I think doing it in two stages, as suggested earlier, is a good idea.
As for the deflection in the trunk, don't worry about it. It won't go away, exactly, but when the trunk is 12" or 24" in diameter, such a small aberration will be vitually unnoticeable. At worst, it will add character to the tree in its old age.
Keith Babberney ISA Certified Arborist #TX-0236AT
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Thanks to everyone that responded. Won't the deflection spot eventually grow up with the trunk until it's somewhere overhead?
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No. A tree grows by adding layers of tissue to the outside of its branches (increased diameter) and by extending shoots at its tips (increased length/height). If you put a nail in the trunk today 3 feet above ground, it will still be 3' above ground the day the tree dies, unless soil grade level changes. However, it will most likely be absorbed and invisible (buried in the wood that forms around it).
k
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OK, I had the saw in hand and went out to the tree this weekend. I can't bring myself to do it...
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Usually when correcting a y branched tree that has grown as long as yours has you remove 1/2 the weaker stem to stunt it and allow the stronger branch to grow larger. About a year later you remove the rest of the weaker stem. This way the wound is smaller. The crack that has formed is not good, you want to correct problems before these cracks occur.
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