Certified Arborist Tree Trimming Dallas
In the past, I worked for a local tree farm specializing in top quality field grown shade trees.  The majority of trees we sold were single trunk trees, but a portion of them were grown as multi-trunk trees.  I have been asked many times, "Which is better?" 

The answer to the question is pure opinion since both types will survive for many years and each requires similar attention and care.  So here is how each compare in certain factors:

Aesthetics:  Single trunks are traditional and what most envision in a domestic yard or park environment.  Multi-trunk trees have a more "wild" or "natural" look since this style is common in the woods or forests. Since they are different trees, multi-trunks of the same species may even have different appearances due to unique genetics. 

Structure:  Singles are straight forward.  Most have a main "leader" trunk with side branching.  Multi-trunk trees are a bit different since each trunk is a seperate tree grown from a different seed.  As the trees get larger the trunks often fuse together (called grafting) and look more like a tree with low branch structures.  If you were to cut these down they would show multiple sets of growth rings confirming seperate trees.  Structurally, multi-trunks are weaker only because the trunks often lean away from one another.  The canopies most often lean as well, which can result in a strange shape should one of the trunks be lost, resulting in "half tree" scenario.  This leaning often results in a tree that is wider than it is tall.  If selecting multi-trunks for planting, pick trees where each trunk is equal in size and has very little lean to it.  This will result in a tree with better shape and strength.  As the trees get large, consider having the tree's trunks cabled or braced by an arborist to prevent trunk splitting and preserve the shape of the tree.

Growth:  Single trunks grow at a rate determined by the species of tree and the care it gets.  Multi-trunks have seperate root systems and since they are close together, they compete for nutrients.  This competition results in slower growth rates.  Make sure that each trunk is the same species and thus one would not outgrow the other.  Since they compete, multi-trunk trees grow 30% to 50% slower than singles trunk trees of the same species.  Despite a slower growth rate, these trees can still flourish with attention and care.  Ensure they have adequate sun, water and nutrients and they will have no problem growing.  Just consider, all things being equal, the multi-trunk trees will be a bit smaller after a given period of growth.

I have removed trees where part of the multi-trunk tree had split away and the owners said, "I wish I hadn't planted a multi-trunk tree."  With proper care and carefully placed cables and braces, these trees will last just as long and provide their "wild" beauty as long as their single trunk versions. 
This is the time of year where most electric utility tree maintenance takes place. National tree companies like Nelson, Asplundh, and Trees Inc patrol the local power line easements indescriminately trimming tree limbs within 10 feet of power lines (ususlly the top lines on the poles). This creates an incredible amount of distress with tree owners worried about the future of their trees.  Unfortunately the tree companies put themselves between the proverbial "rock and a hard place."

Here's what makes this bad for everyone: First, these companies bid for contracts with the utility companies which ensures that pricing is ultra competitive and rock bottom. As a result, these companies employ as few "skilled" workers as possible to keep their costs down and you will rarely find an arborist involved. Most of the cost is in purchasing and maintaining the specialized bucket trucks and chippers needed to perform the task. Next, the utility company requires a clear zone at least 10 feet from lines. That space is their "property" and anything outside of that belongs to the tree owner, more or less. As a result, tree companies diligently avoid "trespassing" and incurring more expense by trimming beyond that 10 feet - even if sound tree trimming practice would require it.

As a result, tree limbs are left as stubs and not trimmed back to the next limb junction. Many bad things result from stub cutting including poor branching, decay and insect infestation. Homeowners that are worried about their trees should have a certified arborist do an assessment to identify any issues resulting from utility pruning. This is usually very inexpensive and gives the owner good information to make decisions about their trees. The result is often a healthier tree with an improved shape and extended lifespan.

Contact Heritage Tree Service of Texas to get help with your trees suffering the effects of utility pruning

Heritage Tree Service of Texas ISA Certified Arborist Tree Trimming Tree Removal Tree Pruning Tree Damage and Tree Repair Tree Assessment and Tree Appraisal Stump grinding