I'm sorry I can't tell a thing from your photo. I was going to re-post it full size it but it is so badly out of focus that I did not bother. Perhaps you can post another, better, picture/s. What kind of trees are they? Where are you keeping them, inside or out?
I put them in the sink as suggested on this site
This is usually only suggested as an emergency measure and not for a prolonged length of time. If they were that dry and you soaked and then drained them that is not the issue. How often, and how, have you been watering them.
the soil is damp but all the leaves are either yellow or dry and brittle. Even the branches/twigs are dry.
With dead foliage and damp soil you have to be very careful when you water next. Do not keep it wet, neither should you let it dry out.