Crimson Sentry Maple Has No Leaves

Question From: K. Schultz - Sterling Heights, Michigan, United States
Q: Hello! I enjoy reading your column in Homestyle and have a question for you. My Crimson Sentry Maple has yet to leaf out this spring with only a few new shoots of growth. I will attach a picture and show you how it looks right now- very sad. It held onto its leaves for a mighty long time last year- I'd guess leaves were still holding on in November. As everything else has leafed out I'm really concerned. We had it planted back in 2012. I don't want to believe that it's a goner! Any insight would be much appreciated. Thank you!
(Click Images To View Larger Versions)

A: I'm sad to say your tree is gone Kristen. It looks like it was planted too deeply in the ground. These trees are shallow rooted and in the past couple of years excessive heat and lack rain have taken their toll on trees that were not watered. An irrigation system for grass will not begin to make up for lack of water in a drought. Trees rarely die in a single winter. They show the symptoms of stress for years and we ignore it. You are not alone. Sorry for your loss. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy