Answer: Some Japanese maples are grafted onto a different rootstock (for hardiness or for size) so I suspect the suckers are coming from the rootstock, which would be entirely different than the type of maple you purchased. I'd recommend pruning the suckers off so they cannot overtake the grafted top of your tree. While the late frost may have damaged the leaves and some of the smaller stems, it probably did not hurt the main branches or the trunk of your tree. Prune it lightly to encourage new growth and then take a wait and see stance. Don't be surprised if your Japanese maple competely leafs out later this spring. I hope so!
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