Do not trim the side arms, except to keep them off the ground. The first year is about building strength. Just let it grow.
(Sterling sidearms run 24-36")
Remember one unassailable statistic, as explained by the late, great George Carlin: "Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!"
"I would like to die on Mars, just not on impact." Elon Musk