Read our, The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Pruning shears. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board, Pruning Lilacs and Other June Gardening Tips. In the weeks following the last of the lilac tree blossoms, remove any suckers or new twig growth. Never prune a lilac tree back by more than a third of its size. Genus Syringa can be deciduous shrubs or trees, with simple, entire or rarely pinnate leaves and conical panicles of small, very fragrant, 4-lobed tubular flowers in late spring or early summer Details 'Palibin' is a bushy, slow-growing deciduous shrub with small, broadly-ovate, dark green leaves and upright panicles of small, fragrant, lilac-pink flowers A number of trees and shrubs naturally form a well-branched framework. To remove suckers, simply clip them off by using a handheld tree trimmer. Deciduous ceanothus can be pruned hard (and often in the first two years). A heavy infestation, however, may require you to prune … You’ll want to dead head any of the blooms that you see at the end of the season, so that next year’s lilacs will be certain to be fragrant and vibrant in color. Pruning Large, Overgrown Lilacs. Prune a third of the oldest branches all the way to the ground each year for three consecutive years. Start by taking out the thickest stems first. Begin by pruning dead or diseased stems, pencil-thin suckers, and twiggy growth. The best time to prune most trees is late autumn and winter. Prune to maintain an open interior and several main branches that form a vase shape. A pleasant summer during which healthy new growth develops will reward you with abundant blooms the following year. Pruning at this time will promote the health of the tree. This means that after blooming ceases in the late spring, the tree or shrub immediately begins storing energy to produce buds that will overwinter and create blooms the following spring. Covid-19: We are still open! Lilac bushes can get tall and leggy and knowing how to prune them will give you years of beautiful, fragrant flowers on manageable plants. If the tree grows too tall, you can cut back individual branches to around 1 foot below the desired height to prompt dense growth at the top. Fortunately, rejuvenation pruning can revive an old lilac in about three years' time. You’ll be please to know if you have a dwarf lilac tree, that this species is actually much simpler to care for than some of the others. If you notice insects taking out your plant, spray your trees with soapy water to keep them away. The time to prune mature lilac plants is just after the flowers have faded in the spring. Back. Oregon State University Extension, Pruning Lilacs and Other June Gardening Tips. Pruning a lilac tree takes a bit of time and effort. In general, by the time a stem reaches more than 2 inches in diameter, it should be pruned. By using The Spruce, you accept our, Remove Any Stems Thicker Than Two Inches in Diameter, Tips for Growing the Common Lilac in Your Garden, A Rule of Thumb for When to Prune Flowering Shrubs, How to Prune Shrub Roses and Knock Out Roses, How to Prune Different Kinds of Hydrangeas. Here are some of our tree service specialists’ favorite lilac tree varieties: Common Lilac (Syringa vulgaris). This technique will cause more branching and create a denser shrub. https://gardening.about.com/od/pruning/a/Pruning_Lilacs.htm, 777 Lawrence Avenue East Toronto, ON, Canada M3C 1P2 | Phone: 416-397-1345, Copyright © Toronto Master Gardeners 2019, Gardening Guides provide introductory information on a broad range of horticultural topics. Although their most familiar form is as a shrub, they can be pruned to grow as trees or bought in tree form. Consistent with its tree-like shape, these plants should be pruned in the same manner that most small trees are handled. Hi, I have an old standard lilac tree that is getting too big to hold up the branches with the flowers & leaves out. There is something elegant and regal about a tree that a shrub or bush just seems to be missing. Cut these back all the way to ground level. The best time to prune a tree is during the dormant season, or late winter through early spring. In mid-summer, faded flowers can be removed from the plants. Pruning a standard lilac tree (Question) Hi, I have an old standard lilac tree that is getting too big to hold up the branches with the flowers & leaves out. Finish the remaining third in the next year and you can prune drastically. By: Laura Reynolds 21 September, 2017. After this, any necessary pruning should be done immediately after the flowering period is over. 1 x 2 litre potted standard lilac plant + biscotti patio pot (KB7264) How to Grow. Cut out any suckers - Mid June onwards. If the Californian lilac becomes too big for your garden, you don’t have to chop it down.