Thanks for writing. One test you can try is to gently scratch a stem with your fingernail; if the branch is green just beneath the bark, it's probably still alive. If it's brown and very dry, then that branch is probably dead.
I'd wait another few weeks before you pull it out, just in case it is alive. Plants may be slow to wake up in spring if they've been stressed or damaged during the winter.
---Justin, Senior Garden Editor, BHG.com