Is this tree a goner?
We planted our honey locust tree in the fall of 2015, and it's been nothing but trouble. The first two summers we had a lot of deformed foliage, which I learned was due to the honey locust plant bug. This spring I sprayed it with Sevin. The foliage this summer is extremely sparse and wilted. Is it dead/dying?
I does not look good for this tree. If it hasn't gotten established in three years, it is unlikely it will ever thrive. Your job is to do a post-mortem. Why did it fail?
The seasons immediately after planting are the most critical for a tree. The root system has been compromised and adapting to a new environment is stressful. That is why we urge homeowners to be very careful when planting trees. Read here:
But other possibilities include mechanical damage, critter damage, insect predation (which you mentioned), herbicide drift, drought and so on.