The Q&A Archives: Herbicide Damage

Question: I have a Lilac bush that got hit with a weed control by a lawn service last year. Now I have some dead branches & it's growth seems to have been stunned. What can I do to bring this back to life? How and what fertilizers (if any) should I use? Thank you for your help.

Answer: It comes as a surprise to many people that herbicides can harm trees and shrubs. Overspray is the most common cause of problems, but translocation from roots to leaves can also occur. Overspray can cause damage, but it's not usually fatal. You can rehabilitate your lilac by pruning to remove the dead and distorted branches and stems. Lilacs are tough plants and your recover in time. Don't fertilize until growth begins to look normal. Feeding an already stressed plant will stress it even more. Good luck with your lilac!

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