Q: My mother-in-law thought my coralbark maple was getting out of hand so last summer she chopped off the top of the tree. Now I have a million small branches coming out of the limbs she chopped off. I want to keep it clean looking but now what do I do?
A: Much depends on how big you want the tree to grow. Maples don’t mind continuous pruning so one option is to keep pruners handy and make a calendar note to visit it every four weeks to remove unwanted sprouts.
As far as the tufts of small branches, I think the tree will look better if you chose the strongest one or two at the branch ends and remove the rest.
You can keep these few branches short if you want to keep the whole tree at a smaller size.