I have a seedless honeylocust in my back yard, really nice tree. When I moved in a few years ago I noticed some old bricks around the base that the tree's roots had pushed up. They stuck up and made it problematic to mow. So last week I did some weed wacking to expose the bricks, then I pulled them all out and removed the grass in about a 1 foot area around the base of the tree. And I decided to put some flowering plants around the base. So I dug down a bit in certain spots between the large roots to give the plants a bit of room. It was mostly all large roots and not much room to plant anything. Overall I was trying to be careful, avoiding the roots and just dealing with the soil around them. I added a little gardening soil, very little in fact because the bag I had at hand was nearly empty.
When I was doing this (mid-May in Wisconsin), the bulbs on the tree were just opening up. But one week later the leaves seem to have stopped growing. The tree appears to be in shock. I'm feeling pretty bad about this and would have been quite happy leaving the bricks there if I had known something like this would happen.
Could someone tell me what I might have done wrong, advise me on what I could do to help the tree? Will it recover?