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Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:49 am
Location: Pennsylvania

I hope it don't die.....

So today was warm about 47 degrees compared to the teens that we have been having. Went out to rake up the yard a little bit and noticed that 2 of my lilac bushes have leaves coming out!! The leaves are every bit of a inch big...

Do you think the frost will kill them?

I can't understand how they are blooming as we have been below freezing for about 20 days straight! I live in PA so we still have about 3- 3 1/2 months before this should start..

Anyone else ever see this?

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Leaves budding is not the same as blooming. Blooming is when the flower buds open up. I really doubt your lilac is flowering, though it may be putting out a few leaves. When you get more frost, it may kill the new little leaves, but it won't hurt the plant which will just put out more leaves.

What you do not want is more frost when the flowers are opening up. If they are frost killed, they are done and no more will come (those buds were set last year). But lilacs bloom late enough that that is not usually a problem most places that you can grow lilacs at all.

The Helpful Gardener
Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

There will be frost damage and that can be an entry point for bacterial lilac blight, more common now as apple producers have taken to using the bacteria as a counterculture to bacterial apple diseases :roll: .

I'd prune 'em off and try to arrest things. No good can come of new foliage now, It will get cold again Sunday.

Here's a map of average leafing(for S. chinensis, not S. vulgaris, but you get the idea. Should be between day 85 in the south and day 105 in the north. Call it day 95 around Harrisburg. That'd be mid-April, but this is the slightly more tender Chinese lilac. Being overly generous and giving a month, mid-March seems about right for Central PA.

Mid January does not... more global wierding... :?:

Scott Reil

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Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:49 am
Location: Pennsylvania

I think I will prune back the new leaves as suggested. Hopefully that will reduce any damage to the spring blossoms! Thanks! :)

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