Maple Tree dead???

Hi all,
I am a VERY inexperienced gardener, in fact, it would be safe to say, my hands have never planted a bulb! The extent of my endeavors has been to drag the mower back and forth occasionally when the missus gets her gardening head on (shes the green fingered one). Last year we moved into our new house, and there was a very pretty little tree in our garden, about 2-3 foot high, that had bright red leaves. I was told, by someone who supposedly knows their stuff, that this was a young maple.
I seem to remember that it grew these pretty red leaves very early in the year, but that could just be my poor memory. The thing is, this year, there is nothing at all so far. I cant even see what look like the beginnings of leaves, or buds.
In fact, the whole tree looks rather dead to my very ungreen eyes, and my missus is all for yanking it up. I'd like to give it a chance yet.
What time of year should maples start to show their leaves? and how can I tell if this tree has died? If it has, I want to replace it with exactly the same before too much more time passes.
Any help much appreciated.
Thanks.... G
--
geoff1132204

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On Wed, 8 Apr 2009 16:58:34 +0100, geoff1132204

Here in middle TN, the maples are just now waking up. Sounds like you have a red maple. I just planted one on Sunday. I adore red maples. Hope yours wakes up.
Kate
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On Wed, 8 Apr 2009 16:58:34 +0100, geoff1132204

If most of maple trees have leafed out and your maple has not, changes are good that it is indeed dead. To see if a young branch is dead scrape the bark with your fingernail--if you do not see any green under the bark, the branch is dead.
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On Apr 8, 11:58 am, geoff1132204

You might tell us where you live.
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it could be a Japanese maple and they are slow to put out their leaves. as somebody pointed out if you scrape just a bit of a twig and look for green that will be one good indication. however, Japanese maples are VERY DIFFICULT and usually like a protected place to be planted. they need even moisture because they have very shallow roots, but never have their feet in standing water, they dont like full blaring summer sun, like a partial shade and protection from wind.
Ingrid
On Wed, 8 Apr 2009 16:58:34 +0100, geoff1132204
a very pretty little tree in our

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Kinda reminds me of the Pecans I have here. 2 different pecan species, 2 different trees on the property I planted a couple of years ago. Everything, including the local trees took off and budded and leafed out. Like the previous year, the pecans just sat there, void of any sign of life. The last couple of weeks, the pecans have taken off, as like last year. Leaves abound, especially the paper pecan version.
I would: Be very patient. Verify from many other sources of the variety of tree you're talking about. Consider the recent past and present weather/temperature and your location in regards to those trees. Avoid any advice from any arborist that you cannot verify their credentials.
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Dave
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