I had bought 6 A. Palmatums in pots this year and although some are a bit shaken, all have survived our hot summer. All of them seemed to be planted too deep, but I didn't touch them fearing that I could stress them in hot weathers. I had planned to wait until leaf drop to remove excess soil, when they would be planted to the ground anyway. Today, although the leaves haven't dropped yet (they are in fall color), I decided to remove some soil from the pots thinking that it would be better to remove roots in stages (since some roots would have to be teased / removed from the sides and the bottom at the time of planting anyway). All of the Japanese Maples have visible root flares now, but I had to remove a lot of fibrous roots to get to the root flares. I have 2 questions regarding this. 1st being a general question and 2nd being more specific about one of those pots. 1. A lot of fibrous roots needed to be pruned. I had to remove as much as 3 inch (even in one of the plants I had to remove 4 inch!) excessive soil filled with fibrous roots. The root circling at the sides of the pots were terrible and clearly visible, so I am glad at least the top portion of the rootballs are good now. But I fear that removing so many roots can harm the tree. Normally, the trees should go dormant in 2-3 weeks anyway, but was it a bad decision not to wait until the trees went dormant? If it was indeed a bad decision, what can I do now to minimize the harm? Maybe plant the trees now and force them into a dormant state a bit earlier? 2. In the photos below, you can see one of those trees (Inaba Shidare) had some bad looking root circling with a woody root (buttress?). I'm fearing that it might choke the trunk in future, but I didn't want to cut it fearing that I would harm the tree by cutting such a big woody root. It is one of my best looking Japanese Maples as it seems to be only slightly effected in our hot summer despite being in full sun. So I don't want to lose it. Where should I cut this root (if I should cut it at all) ? It seems to go out of the trunk at the place that marked with red. It comes from a deeper place actually, I guess it moved up because the tree was planted deep, but I am not sure since it was not possible to reach to it without damaging the buttress next to it. The starting point can even be the place marked with blue. The whole thing is also on top of another woody root which is also parallel to the trunk (would this also cause a problem). What do you suggest I should do with this root? Cut from the red mark? Cut also from the green and blue marks to be safe? Or should I not touch it at all? It isn't really possible for me to return this tree or ask for a refund. I would be more than happy to make this tree live even with serious die back if it is my only option. Thanks in advance.