Posted: 11/04/2013 at 17:11
The best time to move it is autumn or winter when it is dormant and the roots can recover without the stress of having to pump up sap to the foliage. You then just dig it up and put it ina well prepared new hole, firm it in and water it. Well prepared means already dug deeper and wider than teh root ball and with well rotted garden compost or manure or other soil conditioner to help improve the soil so it establishes quickly.
If you must move it now, dig it up with as big a root ball as possible as soon as possible. Plant as above, and water it every week, come rain or shine, till next autumn's leaf drop. Willow take up a great deal of water and it won't like drying out.
As for the straight stems, these need cutting out every year after leaf fall which is when you can see them best. You can still do it now if you're quick but the sap is rising now and it may bleed a little.
Try to disturb your acer and its roots as litle as possible but, just in case, work in some soil conditioner round its base and water it well too.