Once winter ended, the bark on the lower part of the tree had started to peel so we were pretty convinced it was gone. Now that spring is here and all our trees have leaves, we are sure. One of our trees died! It is kind of sad because it's a huge tree so has obviously been there for years and years.
We contacted a tree remover and they said they'll take it out here soon, but not to worry because the tree has strong roots so it won't fall by itself any time soon. We have lots of huge trees near our house, but I'd like to chop down that holly-type tree right behind the dead one, too, so I think we are going to have to plant something in its place. I am unsure what kind of tree to plant though. I don't want another big one since we have plenty already, so I am leaning toward a dogwood right now as it is the state tree of Virginia and I love Virginia. We'll see..!