In case anyone was really dying for an update, the tree has made its mind up for good. The situation in our front yard is officially more disastrous than the dead Christmas trees that surface with the first spring snow melt.
We have received the joyous (if not wholly ambiguous) news that our HOA spoke with the tree farm and the dead trees will be replaced. With what or when, it is impossible to know. At this point, aside from Paul Bunyan-ing it ourselves, we are hostages to our association landscaping covenants.
We’ll save the debacle of our shredded rock bed liner for another day.