If they still haven't produced new leaves, they might be dead.
If a young twig snaps when you bend it and is dry inside, its a good
indication the tree is dead.
Another indication a tree is dead is if there is no new root growth.
I agree flexibility is a good sign not only in plant both with humans.
We always bend branches and if they snap get ready to remove but my
other half tells me to wait a year. ;)) I'm prone to seek out and
kill borers with no mercy and have been known to feed them to my fish.
Bag worms ....you don't want to know.
I shot them with my BB Gun HA Ha Ha Ha hhhhhhh (insane laugh)
Garden Shade Zone 5 in a Japanese Jungle manner.
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They were planted in June, not July. Where I live you can't even plant
until May anyway, unless you want to dig through the snow.
I just purchased the house; I had no opportunity to plant before then,
& not enough patience to wait another 10 months.
I watered the trees heavily every other day, but I just tested them, &
I think you are right; they were dead before they were shipped to me.
The twigs snap easily, & the leaf buds are dried. I had great luck
planting privet hedges in June, but I guess hedges aren't the same as
trees. I'll have to try again next spring. Thanks to everyone for the
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