This is how that tree looked in November of 2011.
Here it is almost exactly a year ago, in March 2012.
And this is how it looks now.
Hmmmmm. Something seems... different, doesn't it? You're probably wondering why I don't have a wide shot of the tree for you. That's because it's hard to get the camera to focus on a leafless stick. At the moment, there is not a single leaf growing on the whole tree. I'm finding that fact very distressing.
But I have not lost hope. The bark is still pretty and white, and there are those little bud-like things coming off the "branches." I feel like those buds might make some leaves any day now. Right? Right? Someone with knowledge of Sycamore tree growth should comment and reassure me, if you can do so in good faith.
I will say that I have given this tree intermittent waterings--not too many but not too few--over the last year. The trees and shrubs all around it are quite happy and healthy, and I have not let too much dirt collect around the base of the Sycamore's trunk. It should be fine. But I am getting worried.
I guess all I can really do is wait and watch. Wait and worry.
Dead or dormant?
Deciduous trees are stressful.