I'm taking a break from my Holiday Blogging Break to ask for help with a pruning problem. I have a very large 'Heritage' river birch that is planted too close to a large crepe myrtle. Planting large trees and shrubs too close is particular talent of mine. Yes, it's true: I am a garden genius!
When these were planted nine years ago I was eager to establish garden structure and create a pseudo privacy screen between myself and my too-close neighbors. I never dreamed they would grow so quickly!
Early Spring 2011
This picture is almost two years old but gives a great perspective on how tall the river birch is. It was planted to solve a problem with standing water created by an incompetent patio installer. It did an excellent job and is now massive.
These pictures were taken today and show how close the two trees really are. Removing the crepe myrtle isn't an option.
The vertical branch under the text is driving me crazy. Should I prune it? Ignore it? River birches tend to drop branches easily in storms and I worry that this entire branch will be ripped off in crazy weather, damaging the trunk. What should I do?