Hey there, I'd like to start off by saying that typically any interests I have I do my best to research on my own and avoid reaching out. Unfortunately for you all, every time I searched for information and this forum popped up, the posts I read were all so sincere, genuinely nice and ridiculously open/friendly that after the twentieth time of stumbling onto another topic here I decided to bite the bullet and ask for some help or clarification. Again, you people are too welcoming and generally understanding. You brought this on yourselves, really. After all of that hot air I'll try and keep the balloon animal tiny. I have a couple of smaller Japanese maples, off shoots from a friend's plant, not grafted, but pretty, I like them and they were free. Kept them in pots for a bit and then kicked them back into the earth. I buried them in their pots through a winter and then bare backed them into the ground a year later. No fancy soil stuff, just straight in. After doing some reading for this new one I was given, I'm amazed they survived. Another friend randomly snagged up another "Japanese red maple" for me. Probably stands around roughly five feet. Chunked it in the ground the a few days ago. I'm not attempting to Peter pan them and keep them small, I honestly am hoping they get to a decent size, I would however like to nudge them into a vaguely similar appearance. Alright. After all of that, I've read so many opposing thoughts and opinions, completely polar opposite, some meeting in the middle, etc. I just want a little bit of guidance. My questions are; For the new tree, Should I do nothing at all and just let it stretch out and relax from being crowded in Lowe's for who knows how long and give it time to just take a breath and chill out? There are some branches and leaves that severely crowd each other. Action? The main trunk comes up and then out of no where explodes into four other branches(is this the correct way to describe?) There were four (two on either side) off shoots coming off of the trunk two inches or so above the base, I had read enough to where I felt confident to cut off two of those on one side and another up higher that sprouted directly under another branch, severely crowded. Then figured that was enough trauma, along with rubbing off some buds and sprouts here and there to give it a break. I won't inquire about my other two plants for the time being. This is already infinitely more than I am comfortable asking. I want to say thank you all for having me, I do greatly appreciate it regardless of whether I have any answers or not. Here's some crappy picture of the congested big guy.