River Birch: 2 Trunks leaf out, 1 not, dead?
Last year in October we bought a roughly 15' tall 3 trunk 'Dura-Heat' river birch from a local nursery, ball & burlap of course, & planted it in the backyard. It still had some leaves on it but shed them over time.
Okay, now it's early April. Of the 3 roughly similar-in-size trunks, the central & right trunks have branches with a lot of buds opening into tiny leaves.
The left trunk does not. All 3 trunks have been shedding some little dead branches over time. If the left trunk has any buds, they must be high up, & I don't see any big green ones.
But at the base of the left trunk, near where the 3 trunks join, there is a small branch maybe 8 inches or so long, fairly new, with live buds.
This tree would look a lot less attractive if we end up needing to chain saw or hacksaw off that 3'rd (left) trunk. I'd REALLY rather not have to do it, and if the trunk's maybe struggling, I hate to start slicing around on it looking for green cambium (I'm not one for 'subtle' clues; when I look for something, I look for certainty).
Any ideas on how likely the tree is to draw on nourishment from the 2 trunks doing well, and restore the 3'rd, or am I most likely looking at cutting the 3'rd off, and hoping that little twig off the base many years from now forms a 3'rd trunk (that would be coming off at a weird angle anyway)?