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The next spring (2010), no flowers emerged, but some leaves (about 65% of when planted) did develop but they were smaller than the original as if they did not fully develop. These leaves started to show browning spots/curling edges as if due to insects; Bayer Advanced Tree and Shrub Insect Control was applied along with a1010-10 feed to no effect. Simultaneously, a few new leaves not looking very healthy sprouted.
Thinking the tree might be root bound, I uprooted it in late June and quartered the root ball and spread it out. It continued as before (shedding some browning/curling leaves and producing a few unhealthy looking new leaves) for the rest of the season.
This year, again no flowers, but even fewer leaves (about 35% of whwn planted). Thinking it might be lacking nitrogen, I fed it miracle gfrow 30-10-10 every other week. It does seem to be producing a few more more of the small unhealthy looking leaves.
I have now reached the end of my (very short) green thumb. I'd sure like to learn if there is something(s) I can do to get the tree back to its original healthy status or conclude that its beyond recuperation.
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It probably isn't an insect problem. They are not usually bothered by insect pests.
It could be a watering problem. You say that it had plenty of water but how did you water? These trees do best in well-drained moist soil, but wet, soggy soil is fatal. Water slowly and deeply when you water and water only every 2 weeks unless you get rain.
When you dug it up and split the roots, you would have given the tree a shock and it may take some time for it to recover.
This tree is also intolerant of air pollution which could cause the symptoms you are seeing. This is usually only a problem in an urban environment, though and you don't appear to live in a very urban area.
The best thing to do at this point is to feed the tree with Holly-tone, green sand, and rock phosphate according to label directions. You might try adding Tree and Shrub Thrive (http://www.usethrive.com/store/TreeAndShrubThrive/) to improve the tree's ability to take up nutrients and water. This product will improve the growth of the tree and its root system.
I think it will gradually improve over time if you try these suggestions. Good luck!