So, Mike dug down and proceeded to start cutting off roots. Bernie had suggested one particular root to cut and remove. When Mike did that, it revealed another root underneath. He wasn't sure if he should cut that one too, but it really looked suspicious. So he went for it. He figured there's a 50/50 chance this tree is dying anyway....
When he cut that root away he said it was almost like it sprung out and uncoiled itself.
We have noticed some new growth on the tree. This is our hopeful sign...the new growth has leaves that are twice as big as what had already grown this spring/summer.
I'm really tired of planting trees, so keep your fingers crossed that it will live.