Ive been working with a blue atlas in the ground for 4 years now and it has a number of branches with branchlets. I notice when I went to wire some of them ,a few have died . I made sure not to stress the junction or break it so that is not the case. Are they sensitive to the physical demand of bending? Some branches have needles that are brown dead but the buds are swelling green with new needles and they are wired.