General Discussion:


Messages posted to thread:

D. Wilson01-Jun-00 12:30 AM EST   
Carolyn01-Jun-00 10:17 AM EST   
Carol01-Jun-00 04:35 PM EST   
Grace03-Jun-00 10:26 PM EST   
Margie07-Jun-00 07:34 PM EST   
Laurel10-Jun-00 10:42 PM EST   
Mary13-Jun-00 10:33 AM EST   
moreta13-Jun-00 02:52 PM EST   

Subject: lilacs....
From: D. Wilson
Date: 01-Jun-00 12:30 AM EST

I could use some help in how to prune my lilac bush please. I understand that now is the time to do it, but have just taken off the dead flowers.

The bush is approximately 8 years old, and this is either the second or third year that it's even bloomed.

Thanks for your help.

D. Wilson

Subject: RE: lilacs....
From: Carolyn
Date: 01-Jun-00 10:17 AM EST

I just caught Ken Beattie's show a minute ago as he was advising someone about pruning their lilac. He suggested if you live in southern Ontario (in this case it was Mississauga); you wait 'til July to prune.

Apparantly, there is a lilac borer insect that our lilacs are susceptible to that infects them if they're pruned too soon after flowering. If you live in Ontario, you may wish to wait 'til July to be on the safe side.

Lilacs flower on old wood, so when you prune remove as little of this as possible. Remove some new growth and some a few years old. Remove any branches crossing over each other and any growing too closely together. Open up its structure to allow for air circulation.

Don't prune all branches to the same length, like a hedge. Prune irregularly and always keep in mind a natural shape.

Subject: RE: lilacs....
From: Carol
Date: 01-Jun-00 04:35 PM EST

I read that when removing spent blooms,lilacs should be pruned at the junction between the old and new wood. You can see the difference in colour on the stem. I have faithfully pruned my lilacs after blooming for the past 2 years. While they are both healthy bushes, I can't help but notice a lilac on a neighbouring street that never gets pruned, yet blooms magnificently! Go figure!

Subject: RE: lilacs....
From: Grace
Date: 03-Jun-00 10:26 PM EST

We have a lot of lilac trees around our yard. I do cut them back a bit when they get out of hand, and my husband has cut them back DRASTICLY before, like about 1 1/2 foot from the ground. They sure looked funny for awhile, but in about 2 years, we couldn't see he'd done it, they were so big already. The birds LOVE eating the seeds from the spent flowers in the cold winters, and I enjoy watching from my kitchen window. Then in the springtime I used to prune off the empty flower heads. But I can't reach them anymore because the trees are so tall again, so I just leave them now. I might try to start some from cuttings and give them to friends. Thanks for the tips.

Subject: RE: lilacs....
From: Margie
Date: 07-Jun-00 07:34 PM EST

My lilacs are about 5 years old and I have let them get way too tall. Since they are susceptible to powdery mildew, I need to be able to reach the tops to give them a good spraying with sulpher occasionally. This year I was determined to get in there and do some serious pruning, and while I was waving the shears around and trying to figure out which ones to take out, I realized that a couple of sparrows were making a frightful racket. I looked up to see a small nest in the swaying shrub! Needless to say the lilacs will have to wait another year for their trim. As an added bonus, we have an infestation of cankerworms in Etobicoke this year (little green worms that defoliate the trees and certain plants), and the sparrow brings these worms to her babies by the beakfull (I confess to spying with my binoculars). They babies are hatched and looking quite big and I'm enjoying watching them almost as much as I enjoyed the lilac blossoms!

Subject: RE: lilacs....
From: Laurel
Date: 10-Jun-00 10:42 PM EST

Help! I got lilac suckers from my brother 4 years ago. While they are growing well and are now about 4-feet tall there are no signs of any blooms. How long does it take to see the first color?


Subject: RE: lilacs....
From: Mary
Date: 13-Jun-00 10:33 AM EST

Living in Haliburton, our soil is very acidic & I have been advised to "lime" my lilacs. The question often & how much? Last year I pruned (taking out middle branch of any "V")& took off dead flowers. This year I did not have a single flower. What did I do wrong?

Subject: RE: lilacs....
From: moreta
Date: 13-Jun-00 02:52 PM EST

I think lilacs take quite some time to bloom. As the first message in the thread says, 8 years old - first or second bloom. Lilacs bloom on old wood, not new so it takes time to develop. Also if you prune out all the big wood, it will never bloom.

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