Japanese Maple – Top Heavy

Q: My four-year-old red Japanese maple is very top heavy, with two feet distance from the top to the next row of branches. Is this normal? Should we prune that top?

A: The top does look a little spindly to me, but I would not remove it. Instead, remove about 25% of the twigs and foliage to relieve some of the weight. It should make a good form without more help.