Lilac trees originated in Europe and Asia and date back to the 1750's here in the United States. Washington and Jefferson are said to have grown lilacs in their gardens. The lilac tree has a long life expectancy; they may live to be well over 100 years of age. Known for their delicately scented fragrant flowers, lilacs are usually light purple in color, but other shades of purple, pink and white are available.
The Josee (Syringa josee), a dwarf lilac tree that reaches only 4 to 6 feet in height, is perfect for smaller yards, gardens and even grows well in containers. The Josee re-blooms so you'll enjoy fragrant, lavender-pink flowers throughout the spring, summer and fall months. Plant your Josee lilac tree in sunny areas that have well-drained, slightly alkaline soil. Trees require moderate watering; placing mulch around the tree helps retain moisture. Light pruning after flowering keeps the bush looking good. The Josee is a favorite of hummingbirds and butterflies and the brightly colored purple-pink blooms will attract them both to your garden. This species of tree is highly resistant to mildew, a common issue for many lilac trees.
The Rose-Pink Preston
The hardy, late-flowering Preston (Syringa --- prestoniae) has rose-pink blooms that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Sometimes called the Miss Canada, this lilac tree grows to heights ranging between 6 to 10 feet. Trees require medium watering and should be placed in well-drained alkaline soil. Plant your Preston lilacs in full sun exposure in gardens or near a window so you can enjoy the scent of their dark pink blooms indoors. The Preston is susceptible to powdery mildew and leafspot, as well as borers, scale and caterpillars. These rose-colored lilac trees are often used as hedges or as privacy screens. Prune in the late fall when blooming has stopped.
White Beatuy of Moscow
Beauty of Moscow (Syringa vulgarisis ) is a white double-flowered lilac bush that was developed in Russia in 1943. Reaching heights of 8 to 12 feet, the beauty of Moscow lilac tree produces fragrant, white florets in April and May. Plant these bushes as hedges, accent borders or as privacy screens. The Beauty of Moscow prefers full sun exposure but will tolerate some shade. Place them in rich, moist, slightly acidic soil that is well-drained. Prune immediately after flowering is finished. These trees are susceptible to blights, leaf spots, wilts and powdery mildew. The fragrant, white flowers of the Beauty of Moscow lilac attract butterflies and hummingbirds.
Creamy White Ivory Silk
Considered to be the most low-maintenance of the lilacs, the Ivory Silk produces a soft, creamy white flower. Trees grow best in well-drained soil that is rich and slightly acidic. The Ivory Silk requires medium watering and prefers to be planted in full sun exposure. The tree usually grows to be 20 to 25 feet tall, and the soft white blooms stay from late May until early June, which is later than most lilacs. There are no insect or disease issues with this species, and the Ivory Silk is highly resistant to powdery mildew. Butterflies and hummingbirds frequently visit the cream-colored, sweet-smelling flowers. Use as privacy screens, hedges or as stand-alone trees in landscaping.