Are black buds a typical finding in spring in certain trees?
I bought a tree from a very reputable online nursery (not ForestFarm). It's for our front yard.. It's called the American Hornbeam. We ordered it in "clump" form.
The tree's form is absolutely stunning. It's 5 feet tall and easily the most beautiful tree I have ever seen.
However, there are some things that concern me but still being a novice I thought I would ask you to see if these are things to keep an eye on or not.
The rootball was a desert. Bone dry. There was no moisture mechanism with it when it arrived like newspaper or gels or anything. It appeared as it if had never been watered, ever. The 5 galls root system was so potbound that I had no choice but to make 4 cuts around the rootball, and I loosened up and stretched out as many roots as I could. I had soaked the rootball prior to this and during it
And finally the trees branches and buds. The trees branches are BRITTLE as heck. The buds, the tips of the branches, are all black. What does that mean?
I watered the tree well, and watered it even more when I planted it I have gravelly sandy soil that drains fast so it could handle all the water I gave it.
Are these findings: dry rootball, brittle branches, and black buds/tips of branches normal? Or are they just indicative of a thirsty tree and now that it is being watered it will come "alive" again?
Thanks in advance.