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Trimming lilac bushes

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by affordableyardcare, Sep 26, 2004.

  1. affordableyardcare

    affordableyardcare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 24

    I was wondering the best way to trim lilac bushes.The ones I have to do are overgrown from lack of trimming. Would i trim like a normal shrub or do I prune branches like a tree.
  2. kickin sum grass

    kickin sum grass LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 628

    do not shear. Hand prune individual branches as needed. Thin out if needed. Trimming now may affect spring blooms. Of course sometimes if it is bad enough we may have to trim anyhow, but if possible wait until after blooming next spring.
  3. myoder

    myoder LawnSite Member
    Posts: 140

    kickin sum grass is right, try to wait until bloom to trim... then thin out the older or dead wood and trim until desired height.
  4. DLS1

    DLS1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,619

    Or you could go the extreme way an trim them down to about 12" but you won't get any blooms for 3 or 4 years but I would go with what was already mentioned. :) :) :)
  5. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,496

    It is not necessary to wait until they bloom to trim. They can be done right now, as a matter of fact. What you want to do with Lilacs, is prune out the larger and woodier (older) stalks and leave the smaller fresher stalks that will produce more blooms. I have seen it many of times where people will do the exact opposite. They take away all the younger stalks with more vitality, and leave the older woody stalks. This will NOT produce a healthier plant. Make sure you get all the dead wood out, also.
  6. specialtylc

    specialtylc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,656

    I trimmed a 250ft row of 40 year old Lilac bushes last october. Went from 12 ft tall and cut down to 4 ft. Used chainsaw for the whole thing. They filled in and look great now.

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