About 10 years ago we planted Amur maple shrubs along the back fence in our yard for privacy. Not quite sure what to do with them now, all the foliage, is at the top and they no longer provide any privacy. Also, they have a lot of dead wood. How do we prune them to give us privacy or should we replace them with some kind of evergreen shrub?
Amur maples are considered a small tree and tend to grow the way you describe. You can encourage a fuller habit. Start by removing all the dead wood. Then see what's left. Step back and start pruning your way to an attractive framework. Remove crossing branches, those that will eventually grow together and any with a narrow crotch angle (the angle between two adjoining branches). This will improve the overall appearance of your plant. Consider planting some perennials or small scale shrubs nearby to fill the space between the lower branches and ground. Just a note, Amur maples are considered invasive in some areas so check before adding them to your landscape.