Very old lilac

rudymeganApril 26, 2009


I have a very old lilac in my front yard and I was just wondering if there is anything I can do to help it stay as healthy as possible. The house is 100 years old and this lilac is more like a tree then a bush.

I had noticed it would wiggle when I pushed (not hard) on it. upon further investigation I found that the trunk has been hollowed out and now there are a number of "pill bugs" running around down there. there are also round holes in the trunk made by some kind of bug...

The bush/tree seems happy enough, healthy leaves, blooms and sends up sappers (which I cilp off). I've been giving it ground up eggshells.

Anything else it might want to stay strong? It is a lovely member of my yard and I want to make sure it's getting everything it might need.

Thanks! - Rudy

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You should probably leave the suckers (what you call sappers) and let them get big enough and cut away the old and diseased trunk.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 12:47AM
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What minnamouse said -- if you don't let any new suckers come up, then when the main trunk rots out or splits, as it will eventually, then your beautiful old tree is gone! If you let some new growth sprout up, it will continue after the main trunk is history.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 7:03PM
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I forgot to mention that if you like the tree look so much, after a while, you can start grooming the suckers so you establish a main trunk. I mean do this after you get rid of the old trunk and the bush proves itself able to survive the infection/infestation it has.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 6:01PM
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I have dug some suckers up and potted them to move and plant in a different part of the yard. I know the trunk will die out eventually, I just wanted to keep it around as long as possible. I don't want to cut the old trunk away, that would be killing the plant. If I keep the suckers trimmed back it will keep the main plant stronger yes? If and when the tree dies I don't mind if there not a lilac bush there, I'm hoping to create a few new ones around the yard in the mean time. I'm not that attached to the tree shape this old boy just happens to have been grown that way.

Thanks for all your input and advice!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2009 at 9:30PM
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