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Lilac Tree with Brown Flowers

Posted: Sat May 22, 2004 7:39 am

I have a lilac tree and this year all I got on it were brown little nubs, instead of beautiful smelling lilac. Any idea how or why this happened?? Help, I love that tree.

Posted: Sat May 22, 2004 12:46 pm
by The Helpful Gardener
Could be winter kill, frost damage, or it could be fungal. We have also started to see more bacterial lilac wilt in the landscape; this was once a disease entirely relegated to production nurseries, but it is starting to make an appearance in the garden. You would be seeing blackening of growing tips as well as flowers, and leaf deformation around the affected areas. If this is the case, you need to prune off the affected areas (wiping the pruner blades off with alcohol after EVERY cut). Bacterial blight only enters wounded plants, like frost damage or PRUNING CUTS, and it won't kill the plant, but it will make it ugly. Hope for the winter or frost damage; they're easier to deal with...