Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 10:49 pm
Location: Ontario, Canada

Dead branches and green leaves?!?

Ok, so I've cut down a lot of trees to give my lilacs some more sun and hopefully next year, they will bloom lots more. What I have discovered now, is that there are very small lilac shoots that were hidden by the tree. 90% of the branches are dry, brittle, basically dead ... but every so often one has green leaves at the end of it!
So I'm wondering how much of the "dead" branches that don't have green leaves I should remove? Can I do it now? I mean, they don't have flowers, so no buds to accidently cut off. Any ideas let me know. Do you think they'll grow better and bigger next year and fill in all the spaces where the trees were? Thanks a bunch!

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 5:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Well, I'm definately not a lilac expert so, if there are any out there please help with more advice.

But, I would take out any dry, dead looking branches and through my own research I have come to the conclusion that the best time to prune most trees is in the fall but, you can prune most trees year round without to much damage.

Greener Thumb
Posts: 1868
Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 10:44 pm
Location: Maryland zone 7

Turtle, it will take a new lilac sprout between 5 and 7 years before it matures enough to bloom. Since these shoots have had such a bad start, I would prune them off too. Topdress the area with an inch of compost and a cup of lime to stimulate better bloom. You'll get more sprouts that will be healthier and do better in the end. Prund lilac within two weeks of the finish of bloom as they set their buds for the following year then.


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