Here's a picture of my 3-year-old fringe tree. It's in Albemarle County, Virginia. I'm concerned that so many branches are dead. Does the tree have a useful future, or should I pull it out?
Chionanthus is generally problem free except for a couple of weak points. First is to look at the soil conditions - ideally you want the site well drained but with plentiful moisture and the pH should be acidic. You have what appears to be a few branches with large leaves so my guess is that the problem is a bit more specific than general soil conditions; another weak point is stem cankers. These are patches of discoloured bark appearing on the stems that prevent sap from pushing out to the tips of the branches to support growth. Look carefully at the stems that are not growing and see if you can find constrictions lower down that might be causing those specific branches to fail. If you find any cut them out and see if the branch will respond by sending out fresh shoots.