The Q&A Archives: Lilac Trees

Question: Can you tell me anything about Ornamental Lilac Trees? I purchased one 3 years ago and I have had trouble finding out if they need pruning or shaping. I believe it was called Koren Lilac. It is beautiful when out in flower. I have had several people ask me about it. The tag said it got a 6 foot umbrella when mature.

Answer: Syringa patula 'Miss Kim' is the Korean lilac. It is a dense, rounded shrub which is grafted high to make a standard tree. Your lilac can grow to 8' high and wide but usually stays smaller when grafted. It has a graceful appearance and blossoms profusely. You can prune your Miss Kim back after flowering to control size and shape. You can also remove dead wood and twiggy growth to maintain the umbrellalike appearance. Lilacs bloom best where they received a pronounced winter chill; they need well-drained neutral to slightly alkaline soil. It isn't necessary to fertilize lilacs, but you may feed lightly in the spring if you wish. Be careful not to apply too much fertilizer or your lilac will respond with lots of lush, green growth at the expense of flowers. Enjoy your lilac!

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