AndrewSmith
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Location: Markham, Ontario (Canadian zone 6a)

Unhappy Lilac

Hello

I have two lilacs in my back yard. One is doing great:

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And the other one is less and less happy, to the point that I'm worried it won't survive:

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I just moved in in june so I don't know any of the history. Does anyone have ideas about what the problem might be? They are only about 15 meters apart :(

HoneyBerry
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Re: Unhappy Lilac

I have several lilac shrubs.
In your case, there might be something in the dirt. One of my lilacs reacted adversely to some lawn fertilizer once, and then later recovered. But my lilac didn't look like yours. Is your sick close to the neighbor's yard and perhaps they applied something and it leached over? Such as Rounduo perhaps? Or pethaps a mole or gopher disturbed the roots? These are just some things to consider. Since the 2 plants are so close together, it seems like there must be something affecting the roots.
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AndrewSmith
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2015 5:40 am
Location: Markham, Ontario (Canadian zone 6a)

Re: Unhappy Lilac

Thanks for the reply BirdLover. That seemes plausible, the sick one is right on the neighbour's fence. A couple of weeks ago I looked at the bottom and realized that the sprouts on the ground weren't lilac but a fruit bush from the neighbourh's side. The plant looks like raspberry but the berries are one-piece round red. I pulled them all out from my side.

Maybe I'll get lucky and that was the problem and it will recover next year... hopefully they didn't put any weird fertiilizer on - the slope comes down into my yard. For myself I don't want to put any fertilizer on until I know what my soil needs, and I don't yet know how to figure that out :)

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Unhappy Lilac

Might your neighbor have sprayed weed killer?
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AndrewSmith
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2015 5:40 am
Location: Markham, Ontario (Canadian zone 6a)

Re: Unhappy Lilac

Sadly I don't know, and they aren't the chatty type.. plus I don't want to insinuate they killed my tree :)

HoneyBerry
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Re: Unhappy Lilac

I have neighbors who regularly use weed killer along the fence to keep the weeds from sprouting in the gravel driveway. I always think twice about planting anything on my side close to the fence that is next to that neighbor. I am sure it leaches across the fence line. I know what you mean about not wanting to bring up something like that.
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tomc
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Re: Unhappy Lilac

To my old eye bones that looks like herbicide damage. You might want to plant farther away from the property line.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Unhappy Lilac

I agree; that's why I asked if the neighbor might have sprayed weed killer/ herbicide.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

AndrewSmith
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2015 5:40 am
Location: Markham, Ontario (Canadian zone 6a)

Re: Unhappy Lilac

Well, at least now I know what it is :) Thanks guys!

Do you figure it will recover next year if they don't reapply the herbicide? Or should I cut it down and plant something tougher on the fence?

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