My Candy Coralberry is dying.

Waukegan, IL(Zone 5a)

Something very bad is happening to my Candy Coralberry. About mid-July branches began to die. I first noticed a few of the taller branches wilting and upon examination found that leaves had already turned brown at the bottom of those branches. Eventually these branches died completely, leaves crispy and wood brittle. I cut them out but every few days more branches were turning brown and dying. After I noticed the problem I watered the area and took care to water (but not over water) during a hot dry spell which is typical in July. Branches are continuing to brown and die and I am fully expecting the whole bush to go in the next few weeks. This is it's third season in my garden and it looked great until this July. Now I want to decide if there is any hope for it next spring or if I should just replace it with something else. I cannot find anything online describing this problem. I have posted three photos. The first is how it looked last October, the second how it looked this June (behind and on the left of statue) and the last, how it looks now. As I look at that last photo, I think it is a goner. I would like some opinions, please. I sure wish I knew what has happened.

Thumbnail by chris_h Thumbnail by chris_h Thumbnail by chris_h
Magnolia, TX(Zone 9a)

Appears to be localized damages- like root. Any burrowing critters in your area? Any other plants reacting the same way? Any poisons sprayed near the area? Or hound dogs raining on your fence?

Waukegan, IL(Zone 5a)

Thank you for your input. So, no burrowers, all the other plants doing just fine, no poisons and no dogs. It's very mysterious. Maybe when I dig it up I'll get a clue. What really throws me is that I can't find a description of anything like it on the internet. I am going to contact the botanic garden but haven't had time just yet. Thanks for your suggestions. The search goes on.

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