Lilac - Knowledgebase Question

Middletown, De
Question by jvadala2
June 19, 2010
I have a Lilac about 16 yrs old. The branches are
turning white. My husband
says he did not use weed
killer around the bush .
What could it be?

Answer from NGA
June 19, 2010


Branches can die on a lilac for no apparent reason but if you closely examine the branches, trunk and roots of your lilac you can probably determine the cause. Boring insects, winter kill, physical damage from a weed whacker, or soil that remained too soggy and suffocated the roots are all common causes of dieback on lilacs. If your lilac has been in the ground for 16 years, it should have an extensive root system. With any luck the root system is still healthy and might regenerate a new plant if you end up having to cut the entire lilac down. Start by pruning off the unhealthy branches. If new growth appears, the roots are still healthy. If you need to prune your lilac all the way down to the gorund, it's likely the roots will send up healthy new stems. I hope your lilac recovers!

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