A friend transplanted an acer (about six feet tall, I guess a Palmatum) a year or two ago. Most of the branches now seem dead, but there is one, growing out sideways, with vigorous leaf growth. I have suggested pruning out all the dead wood but its owners are concerned that this would result in a tree growing in the shape of an inverted
What would be recommended to (a) salvage the tree/promote healthy growth and (b) encourage a conventional shape (eventually)?
By popular demand, images:
The poor thing has been moved twice in about three years. The first time into what was quite sandy soil (nearer the woods shown in the background) where it did not thrive, more recently about a year and a half ago.
Since the above photographs were taken (and after asking here) it has been pruned back further but seemingly only dead wood (including most of the leaves - that died). It is presently about 4' high with only a very few leaves. However there is new growth next to those leaves and on the trunk, so will probably be cut down to around 2' in the autumn.