Lilac (Syringa) - Pruning of

Discussion in 'Woody Plants' started by Charles Richard, May 31, 2009.

  1. Charles Richard

    Charles Richard Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada
    We have a Lilac and it is in good health, but I would like to reduce it's height.
    When would be the right time to do this?
    Do Lilacs produce their terminal flower buds for next years flowers during this years growing season?
    There is not alot of heavy old growth and I had seen somewhere about cutting out the old growth to rejuivenate a lilac. This one has become too tall and would like to lower it.
    I would appreciate any information, thank you
     
  2. silver_creek

    silver_creek Active Member

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    Location:
    Bellingham, WA, usa
    This is the time of year I prune, right after flowering. We have a lilac we periodically reduce in height this way. Once, we cut it nearly to the ground. It came back nicely, is now about 15' high, and I need to get out there and bring it down to size again.
     
  3. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Location:
    Britain zone 8/9
    Lilacs are best pruned with paper scissors.

    They flower on old wood; new stems take 7 years or more to become mature enough to start flowering again. So a heavy prune means no flowers for several years.
     
  4. silver_creek

    silver_creek Active Member

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    Interesting- but when we cut ours to the ground, it only skipped one year of bloom....
     
  5. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I've seen one pruned hard and it didn't flower again for 7 years.
     
  6. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Victoria [Saanich, actually, northeast of Victoria
    I cut back my front lilac hedge when I lived in Halifax, NS, by about 1/2 or more, and it certainly took several years to bloom -- apparently now blooming beautifully for the new owner.
     
  7. canadiyank

    canadiyank Active Member

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    Location:
    Central WA, USA, Zone 6B
    I prune it this time of year, you can kind of see where next year's buds are if you look carefully, so just preserve the ones you want. They will be at the tips, so it's difficult to "shorten" them and expect any bloom, but cut down 1/3 of the ones you want to shorten, then next year cut 1/2 the ones that flowered back, and then the next year 1/3 (the 1/2 you didn't cut previously), and it should be down to size w/o affecting the flowering toooo much. Mine are getting huge very quickly!
     

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