Why did our Japanese Maple die?
We have had this beautiful tree for 5 years, and it has grown and filled out each year. It now appears to be dead. I'm hoping there is some chance we can still save it. IA couple of people told me they had trees (other varieties) die, as well, and were told it was some kind of insect. My husband thinks he saw buds before we left town in May, but when we returned last week, nothing was growing. Some of the branches still bend without breaking, so it seems that whatever killed the tree didn't do so until this Spring. I see no sign of bugs or fungus, nor of the bark having been eaten by an animal. There is a small hole in the dirt near the trunk (visible in the third photo attached, which makes me wonder if some animal could have dug under the tree.) We have another Japanese Maple in another part of the yard that has no buds or leaves on existing branches, but leaves are growing on the lower part of the trunk