Sounds like they also want to sell you some swamp land. *:X* If there are leaves at the center of the tree and no leaves at the ends of the branches, your tree is out of dormancy and something else is wrong.* Trees don't grow their leaves in stages along the branches, they all sprout at the same time in a healthy tree.* Return to place of purchase for a new tree or refund.* Oh, and throw those tree spikes away.* They tend to burn the roots of the tree.* If your tree needs fertilizer apply a one inch layer of compost under the mulch.* Don't pile mulch against the trunk of the tree.* Here's some helpful info on planting trees.
When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.