My question is 'how do I start again'. Do I have to cut down the tree and find another sapling or can I salvage what I have and how?
I apologize if this question is too basic. I am new to the game of handling trees (as evidenced with the maple!)
Did you read my post? Watch for new growth near the base. Usually when a tree sprouts from the base the new growth is more vigorous. If you have patience it shouldn't be too many years before it's as tall as before.
Of course, if it doesn't break new growth then yes, you would have to start over.
RpR said:Unless you want to deal with misery, i.e. trying to save that which cannot be saved, dig it up and get another.
Small trees have a tendency die from what ever causes than large or even middle sized trees.
You can try to save it if there is enough green to consider that , but odds are it will die anyway.
Completely disagree. In fact younger, smaller trees have a better chance of resprouting and making a new desirable tree than old ones. If it resprouts odds are it will live to be a new healthy tree as good as or better than the original.
That doesn't mean it might not be susceptible to future damage whatever the cause may be.