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Old 10-22-2011, 08:47 PM   #1
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Lilac trees need some TLC - Help?!

Hello all! Today I decided to give the lilac trees a real good trim. The trees are at least 30 years old if not more and some have problems. I've uploaded 4 pictures. The first picture is a branch I just cut down today and as you can see there's a hole in it. Second picture is a branch that I cut down some years ago with the same problem but the hole is bigger than it was originally. Third one shows a hole in a branch half way between base and top of tree so there are a lot more branches further up so I'd hate to have to cut it at that height. Fourth one is a great big hole at a junction of some really big branches near the base of the tree. Again I would hate to have to cut this one down too I'd be eliminating almost 1/3 of the tree. I have cut off one side that's why we see such a big hole. I've checked the trees all summer long and never saw any insects but I'm thinking if I don't do anything about these holes they could eventually attract some kind of critter. Today I saw a few humidity type insects not too many. My question is : Is there some kind of product I can put to fill in these holes without killing the lilac trees or do I have to eliminate the branches completely if they've got holes in them.

I hope the pictures are OK I transferred them from my computer to photobucket


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Old 10-23-2011, 04:55 PM   #2
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You need not worry about the holes, you need to worry about how old they are getting.

Pruning is needed.

Read this.


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Old 10-23-2011, 05:31 PM   #3
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Excellent reference--
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Old 10-24-2011, 08:04 PM   #4
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Lilacs are shrubs and not trees although they can grow easily to 15-20 feet. It is a shame they were allowed to get so large. You are going to have to prune aggressively taking all that old growth out over the course of three years or so.

Chris' reference is great. There was a great little book published ages ago called, "How to Prune Almost Everything" but it is out of print. You can find a used copy I am sure. It is one of the best books I have ever found on pruning basics. There are no doubt lilac specific books at the library.

You might want to read up on layering as a method of plant reproduction. It works well with lilacs. Essentially you peel the outer bark away from a section of healthy branch and wrap the wound with spanghum moss and plastic. In time roots will form and you have good healthy stock for starting a new plant identical to the one you may be losing.

Last edited by user1007; 10-24-2011 at 08:07 PM.
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lilac , lilac tree

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