We planted a Royal Red Maple tree in late May. We followed the planting directions and have been watering it 2-3 times per week. We live just west of Chicago (zone 5) and have soil that is very full of clay. Our tree’s leaves quickly began to brown and it has dropped some leaves. At first we thought it was dead, but when we looked up close it has some new buds on the branches. Do you think there is hope for it?
Your Maple tree is going to be gorgeous. I suspect your tree went through a period of transplant shock, resulting in the leaf drop. Since you are seeing new leaf buds appear the tree is recovering from its shock. You should continue your watering regimen through the fall
and right up until the ground freezes. Your new tree is expending a lot of energy right now to grow new roots and penetrate the soil. This fall you might consider wrapping the trunk of your tree for the winter. This will protect the trunk from sun scald and also from any browsing deer.