Answer: Your Acer palmatum (Japanese Maple), would probably do better if it had some shade from the hot summer sunshine, and was planted in moist, rich soil. Japanese maples are slow-growing, but in 4 years it should have gotten larger than it was when first planted. Try to find a site that provides dappled afternoon shade during the hottest summer months, and amend a large area with organic matter prior to digging and transplanting. Once it is replanted in a better location you can begin pruning to promote new growth. If you transplant this fall, you can prune it lightly next spring. After it becomes established you can prune it back a little harder.
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