I corrected the problem...think it stands a chance at coming back...it also had black spot...and the leaves that had been effected from that.
We had some erosion at the roots. My husband built up a planter out of rocks and filled dirt way to high up. I hope we don't lose it. Know nothing much on these shrubs.
No idea what the original problem was or when the photos were taken, but the photos show a rhodoendron exhibiting classic symptoms of a dry root ball. This usually results from not untangling/cutting/distressing the roots before planting. The root ball dries out, resists rewetting, and the leaves curl in response. Check for dry roots. Dig up, distress, soak for 30 minutes or so, then replant if they are dry.
It is a good idea to plant with the top of the root ball slightly above the soil. In a new, deep planting area you'll have to watch for subsidence - this can put the rhododendron too deep once again.
The rhodie has been in that spot for 4 years. Some erosion washed away some of the soil at the root base. (Wild life knocked down rocks we had building up that part of the hillside) But you could see some roots have grown down into the soil away from the original ball. So maybe the leaves are from that the stress of being uncovered from erosion...then, my dearest put soil way to high on the shrub. (Covered some of the branch even near the trunk base) along with some black spot our area is facing...
So a number of things...I guess time will tell. No way to dig it up and disturb it's roots that have settled into the area around it since not a new plant in the landscape. We've had some major rain since we covered the roots back up that were exposed. So hopefully it will help.
Does any feel I should start watering it again? Deep watering since it's been established for a few years now.