Over-pruning a Lilac tree

Discussion in 'Trees' started by kazzawazza, Feb 4, 2018.

  1. kazzawazza

    kazzawazza Total Gardener

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    Hi

    We have a lovely lilac tree which I asked my husband to prune at the end of last year. However he was a little over adventurous with the clippers and has cut it back to nearly the branches with only 4* - 6" stems (old wood). There doesn't look as though there is any growth on it. Is the tree dead?

    Kazza
     
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    • scillonian

      scillonian Gardener

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      It will regenerate soon Kazza, heavy pruning may encourage suckering though.
       
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      • Mark56

        Mark56 Super Gardener

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        Ideally it should be pruned straight after flowering by reducing some branches by 1/3 but it will still re shoot if cut back hard. However, you'll probably miss out on flowers for a few years yet.
         
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        • silu

          silu gardening easy...hmmm

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          I severely pruned a very old, neglected white Lilac a few years ago. Scillonian is quite correct, my Lilac produced loads of suckers and not much new wanted growth for a good couple of years and no flowers.It is eventually beginning to recover but maybe partly because the shrub is old it hasn't taken kindly to a severe haircut. If I need to prune my other Lilacs I will not be so severe and prune in stages.
           
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          • redstar

            redstar Total Gardener

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            have never pruned mine. no suckers yet . been there 6 years.
             
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            • kazzawazza

              kazzawazza Total Gardener

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            • kazzawazza

              kazzawazza Total Gardener

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              A013A833-9FD8-445D-BE10-662318ABD87A.jpeg

              When should I start to see some growth appear on the lilac tree?
               
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              • Mark56

                Mark56 Super Gardener

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                Spring/Early Summer it should start producing new side stems, you won't get flowers this year but more than likely next. Have you fed it with some fish, blood & bone/mulched? :)
                 
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                • kazzawazza

                  kazzawazza Total Gardener

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                  I haven’t done anything with it this year as I wasn’t sure if it was too over-pruned for any growth to come back.
                   
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                  • Gail_68

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                    • kazzawazza

                      kazzawazza Total Gardener

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                      BBEA4D56-1292-4C46-BFA8-34A55EFD5E5D.jpeg
                      This is what it looked like before
                       
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                      • Gail_68

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                        @kazzawazza I would leave well alone now and just wait for new growth as you've left it at a nice height and new growth is better for any plant, as you should also see more flowers when it does establish :thumbsup:...you have a :wub2: garden :)
                         
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                        • Mark56

                          Mark56 Super Gardener

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                          Definitely :) and be able to smell those delicious flowers at a lower level
                           
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                          • longk

                            longk Total Gardener

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                            If it ever warms up!

                            Any suckers that do appear are easily taken care of if you are vigilant. Anything up to 30cm away on a small shrub like that, but they can walk more.
                             
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                            • kazzawazza

                              kazzawazza Total Gardener

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                              That was March, this is now

                              20180619_201848.jpg
                               
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