How to Trim Lilac Bushes

Views: 15620 | Last Update: 2009-02-04
How to Trim Lilac Bushes - Provided by eHow
Trimming lilac bushes is similar to trimming fruit trees, as it is best to prune the bush into a bowl or vase shape to allow the innermost branches to be exposed by the sun. Trim a lilac bush to encourage more blooms with advice from a sustainable... View Video Transcript

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Yolanda Vanveen

Video Transcript

Hi, this is Yolanda Vanveen, and in this segment, we're going to talk about how to trim lilac bushes. Now, lilacs are such a joy in the spring. They smell so good. They're great cut flower, and they'll come back for years, and years, and give you blooms. But it's best to trim them every fall, and you trim them just like you would a fruit tree. And here's some rules. So when you're pruning any kind of fruit tree, the goal is to cut out a lot of the random branches towards the top of the tree because those are usually the more fruity branches that's going to produce the more fruit. And you want to thin it out about one-third the size each year. And that way it won't just get tall and lanky, and it'll fill up and you'll get a lot more fruit quicker. And so just by cutting out to the lighter colored branches, you can get a lot more fruit. And you just trim them out, and even them out. So, there's more sun that gets into the middle branches, and the tree will do much better. If you have a fruit tree that's been established, and it's really tall and not producing fruit, and you have not pruned it very much, then you can actually cut out some of the top branches, and what you're making is called a vase cut. By doing that, you're forcing most of the growth back down to the bottom part of the tree, and you'll get a lot more fruit for the next year. So when you're pruning any type of a tree, you want to be really careful to cut it at the right angle. For example, if it's a large branch, you want to cut first at one side, and then the other side, and you're cutting that whole heavy branch off. Because if you just cut from one angle, it might actually hurt some of the bark and get into the main trunk. And you never want to hurt the main trunk, because you will lose a tree if it gets too damaged. And you don't want to cut it too far out either where the C-D cut is because what happens is that it gets too much moisture, and it will rot, and there's too much dead material. You want to cut it right at a little bit of an angle, leaving one to two inches right at where the tree is reeding with the main trunk. Same thing, you never want to cut right up to the trunk line, and make a solid cut, because what happens is the tree gets very damaged. And sometimes, it will eventually kill the tree, because it doesn't have bark to protect the main trunk, and that is what's needed.