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Lilac Bushes

Q.Lilac bushes have very few leaves?

Zone Madison WI 53711 | Anonymous added on May 29, 2020 | Answered

My 14 year old lilacs are well established and have always been prolific bloomers. Last year I noticed that the bushes had far fewer leaves than ever before, and the blooms were more limited. I took a wait and see approach but this year it is even worse – there are hardly any leaves on the bushes and only two of the six bushes had any flowers at all! What should I do – now that they have bloomed should I significantly trim them back? I planted them to provide a visual barrier to my neighbor’s house, but now I can see right through them. They are well over 14′ tall. What should I do?

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on June 1, 2020

You can do a rejuvenation pruning (hard pruning back to 6 to 12 inches) or you can do renewal (gradually cutting back over 3 years). I would recommend the renewal since they are a visual barrier.

These links will help you.


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