Answer: Based on your description I am not sure what happened to your rose of Sharon last year. It may be dead, if it lost its leaves last summer and has had none since I doubt it is still alive. You can check by trimming it back until you reach live wood. Dead wood is dull, dry and brittle. Live wood has green inside the bark and at this time of year you would also see firm buds swelling. Sometimes these plants are able to resprout from the ground, so you could wait another month or so and see, although based on your description I don't think it will come back.
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