Could anyone tell me how to save this tree? I am in planting zone 9b, so I know it is not the climate. When I had it in a pot outside and neglected to water it, the leaves turned brown too. I started watering it better and it completely recovered. Now that it is in the ground, it is doing it again, but worse.
Sometimes it is quite difficult to move plants without causing some distress to the balance of the plant by damaging the roots. Ideally the pot will be full of roots so that when the plant is turned out the root ball stays intact and goes right into the perfect hole in the ground and the shock is minimal. More frequently the root ball is loose and it comes out in pieces. If root broke off then when planted outside the roots that remain cannot keep up with the demands of the leaves, particularly in dry, windy conditions.
To give it the best chance of survival, water if possible with rain water, not tap, and erect some kind of loose barrier to cut down the drying effect of wind until it starts producing new leaves again. Also it might help to add some mulch around the base of the tree to cut down on evaporation from the soil and keep the soil cool when in direct sun.