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I have a lilac tree/bush which has taken over our front porch and about 10ft tall covering two front windows next to front door. When and how do I trim the lilac tree/bush? or should I move it to another location in the yard?


1 answer

  1. Sounds like your pruning needs are a bit extensive. That said, the best time to rejuvenate a bush via pruning is in mid- to late-winter when the shrub/tree is dormant. If the amount of pruning required is extreme then it’s probably best to cut the entire plant down to about 8 to 12 inches above the ground. The following winter is when you select several of strongest shoots and prune them just above a bud to promote further branching.

    If your bush doesn’t need a major overhaul, take the three-year approach to rejuvenation. Visually divide your bush/tree into thirds. Each winter when the lilac is dormant, cut one-third of the oldest stalks to a couple of inches above ground level. New shoots will replace the old ones, and by year three all three of the sections will have been cut. Follow with summer pruning to train and maintain your desired size and shape, pruning just after flowering ends. You can, of course, move the tree to another location during the dormant season by pruning the entire plant back and then carefully digging up as much of the roots as possible. Good luck!

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