|i have 2 dwarf vietamiese lilac bushes that have gotten very bushy, can i prun them back and how far. also have a peony tree, it has gotten tall and wondering about pruning it also. and when should i prune it|
|Tree peonies respond well to pruning. You should aim for a broad, multi-stemmed shrub of up to 4-5' in height, which will not need staking. Chinese and American types have a naturally branching habit and will need less regular pruning than the Japanese and French types. In February, just as the growth buds are swelling, trim off all the dead wood. Then shorten the branches or remove them completely by cutting them down to the base of the plant.
Lilacs should be pruned immediately after they have finished flowering. If you prune now you'll prune off next spring's flowers. Lilac's will take all kinds of pruning. cut it back so the height is right, then completely remove excessive branches. It will respond with new growth and during the summer months it will develop flower buds for the following spring's floral display. Best wishes with your garden!