pruning Japanese tree lilac - Knowledgebase Question

Greenwood Lake, Ne
Avatar for omnidance
Question by omnidance
June 4, 2010
Hi-I have an 8 year old Syringa Reticulata. It's probably 15 or 20 feet tall with a healthy trunk of about 12

Answer from NGA
June 4, 2010
The answer depends upon your definition of severe pruning. You can safely remove the obviously dead branches and then reduce the length of the remaining branches by about a third. If you need to take more, do it next year after it has finished blooming. If you remove more than a third of the live growth in any one pruning session you can stress your lilac. Slow and easy is the best approach. Pruning encourages new growth so you're likely to see the canopy begin to fill out this year. If you prune again next year, the canopy will become more dense and the additional branches will produce additional flowers. Enjoy your project!

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