I planted 4 Elaegnus varieties in 2019. The two goumies are doing great, the “Olive Martini Silverberry” died off in spring 2020, and in between life and death: the “Macrocarpa Silverberry.”
It was the most root bound plant I’ve ever seen, but it grew a nice thick trunk despite this. Until it just went wonky in late 2020. It bloomed in November 2020! It also shot out 6 feet of new growth from a few side shoots around that time as well. Then this spring, it dropped foliage and only some branches have grown leaves back.
My point being: this thing is acting WEIRD. Anyone else see strange patterns in silverberry growth? I assumed it would behave like the goumies. Should I perhaps prune back the main trunk and let the foliated side shoots take over?
I would cut the ends of the leafless branches, to see if there was anything green and living left.
Any dead branches i would cut off.
Maybe cultivate around the tree with a garden fork, try to get some air and organic matter down to the roots.