Trees and Shrubs forum: Dying Lilacs

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May 23, 2017 11:21 AM CST
1. We have enjoyed our lilacs for 30 years but lately they are dying. No sign of insect, rodent, or disease. Any ideas? 2. Why has our "Sensation" lost its unique white rim?
3. Has anyone tried Wilt-Pruf on cuttings (of anything) to avoid that laborsome spraying or misting?
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
May 27, 2017 9:31 PM CST
Exactly why I cannot say but up here for several years I would notice that the lilac bushes were extremely bushy, i.e. the branches were not straight but gnarly in appearance . (I know gnarly is not the best word to use but it gets the message across.)
It would bloom just fine but the next year it was dead.
I did find that on one the roots were gone to the point I pulled it out of the ground by hand but the others I just cut the gnarly branches, and some were several inches in diameter off with a chain saw.
I applied a liquid bug killing product designed for bushes, you are to spray the bushes and soak the ground and this year there does not appear to be any gnarly branches.
At the same time I had a smaller bush down south that died one main branch at a time, one branch a year for three years.
Nothing saved that one.

I have found speaking with the pros, when it come to items affecting Lilacs, you get more confused looks than solid answers.
[Last edited by RpR - May 27, 2017 9:33 PM (+)]
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springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
May 31, 2017 10:05 AM CST
have you dug around a little to see if there is something in the soil killing the roots? termites, some kind of wood eating bugs, huge ant mound underneath (had that kill a forsythia once) ?
I don't know what it is, or what to do, but if that proves up nothing for you, If it were mine, I'd cut it all back pretty drastically, take out all the older heavier ones, and then mulch it well and add some cow manure. Maybe it is just not getting enough out of the soil after being there for so long?

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