Planted golden chain tree in well drained yard this spring. It had about 10 small branches with leaves, but now all leaves have fallen off. There are still buds on the branches. Is it dead?
Golden Chain Tree?
To see if the plant is still viable start cutting stems from the outer edge/tips until you see a greenish appearance within the stem. If you continue to cut down lower and the stem is dry and brittle you may have lost your tree. You can also check the buds by snapping off a few to see if the plant tissue is dry and crisp, or still pliable. Also, a consideration is if the plant tree was planted too deeply. When planted you should still be able to see the top of the original root ball. If you cannot see this, and it has been covered with several inches of soil, that may be a variable that has caused your issues. Be careful not to overwater the tree if you find it is still viable as the tree cannot assimilate water as well as a plant with foliage. Once you start to see new leaf development you can start increasing the water.