Trimming a Lilac bush ?

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  #1  
Old 05-06-17, 04:06 AM
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Trimming a Lilac bush ?

Ihave pics of this huge lilac bush i want to trim back.Any tips on how and what and where..on this bush , So its so huge and the limbs in places ar 6" in Dia 8" maybe. Please Share what to trim and what not to.thanks for any tips bob s
 
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Old 05-06-17, 04:10 AM
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All trimming of deciduous vegetation should take place in the dead of winter when the sap is down. Trimming in the summer may cause the bush to bleed to death. I would concentrate on the lower branches as they don't appear to produce any flowers. It will make the plant more well rounded. I have heard they are quite hearty and can stand drastic cut backs, but I won't advise that without first hand knowledge.
 
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Old 05-06-17, 04:37 AM
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I've trimmed mine as/when needed but mine isn't nowhere near that big. Minor pruning can be done anytime but I wouldn't do any major cutting until fall/winter.
 
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Old 05-06-17, 04:43 AM
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yes i think you'er right. I have cut this one down many times before in all types of weather. Its just got TO BIG i tell her.thanks fellows i appreciate your knowledge.bob s quickest reply have ever had.
 
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Old 05-06-17, 05:44 AM
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I think I learned the hard way that Lilacs set their buds for the next year in late summer/early fall . . . . so the best time to prune them is immediately after they've completed flowering this season, otherwise you'll have no flowers next year and have to wait until 2019.
 
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Old 05-06-17, 08:17 AM
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x2 on post#5 .......Ask around .......and consider cutting it down to the ground.
 
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Old 05-06-17, 10:13 AM
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consider cutting it down to the ground
Sort of how I "trim" crepe myrtles..........with a back hoe.
 
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Old 05-06-17, 11:57 AM
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I was thinking it would recover OK and send up straight shoots...some of which you cut for flower arrangements and the others you leave alone.
 
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Old 05-07-17, 06:40 AM
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so the best time to prune them is immediately after they've completed flowering this season,
Vermont, does that mean cutting the blooms for in house decorations will not affect the following years flowering? Or does those cut blooms become the next years buds? I often wondered if I should cut them now and fill the house with scent and color and not have ant next year. Actually it's my wife's question.
 
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Old 05-07-17, 08:31 AM
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I'm not a Botanist; but I think you're safe cutting this year's blossoms. This year's blossoms don't relate to where buds for next year's blossoms will form.

New buds for next year's blossoms will form elsewhere later on this year; and I'd wager that varies a bit from climate to climate. I also think that new buds for the following year will only form on shoots that are at least a year old, and not the shoots that immediately sprout up after a severe pruning.

Severe pruning usually results in no buds for the following year . . . . at least that's been my experience. Buds will not form on "old wood" until the new shoots are at least a year old.

Earlier in this thread, someone posted a picture of a mature Lilac displaying an abundance of blossoms at the higher portions of the plant; but absolutely none down closer to the ground. There's probably a pruning history associated with the horticultural practices of that Owner which bears out my theory; and buds will form at those lower levels to produce blossoms next year.

In the end, I reckon Lilacs have a mind of their own; it's up to us to figure it out so that we can predict their behavior. It's a good thing that we live more than just one season so that we have the time necessary to recognize these patterns.

I've already said enough to make a fool out of myself regarding Lilacs; I'm in the midst of trying to relate my understanding of biennial Raspberries, where a bumper crop can only be had if the new canes from the previous year are well protected over winter to produce fruit the following year. The considerations compared to Lilacs are quite similar.
 

Last edited by Vermont; 05-07-17 at 09:59 AM. Reason: spelling issues
  #11  
Old 05-07-17, 08:59 AM
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No fool are you. What you say makes sense. My Lilac bush (weed, tree, scrub, call it what you will) is only about five feet high. I will try and keep it under seven feet by continuous trimming or pruning, but the Missus wants flowers every years.
 
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