Forum home Problem solving

Lilac and suckers,ideas please!

madpenguinmadpenguin Isle of WightPosts: 2,422
I have a Lilac in the back garden but the problem I have is with the suckers.
They are right at the back of the border by the concrete gravel boards and I cannot get in there to cut down,pull or dig up.You would need to be a contortionist!!! (I did get stuck once! :| )
Could I just leave them so they form a sort of 'thicket' and then now and then get long pruners to thin out,which I could probably manage.
It is a lovely Lilac and is right now budding up for its next show.

“Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings

Posts

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,641
    To avoid this multi-stemmed look, try to avoid any cuts low down. You can just trim some branches back or thin out some, but further up a bit more, try to leave anything lower than 2-3 feet down to the base. This allows the lower trunk to thicken and age into the gnarled crackly bark.
  • madpenguinmadpenguin Isle of WightPosts: 2,422
    I have not cut anything off it for around 7 years except small bits that stick out over the path etc.
    How long till the trunk gets gnarly I wonder?
    It is the suckers that are the problem now as I cannot reach them.
    “Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,641
    If you have not pruned back too hard then you must have ones that are more prone to suckering. Unfortunately, the only way to limit this is to put in a barrier, something surrounding the base buried deep under the soil to stop this from happening. Not sure you can do this as you say you can't reach the suckers.

    I would just leave them to form and age. That way, they may slow down with more suckering as the branches thicken. It's hard to say how long they can get to a gnarly aged look, as it depends on local conditions too, but I would say anything from 10 years upwards, they can look more characteristic if not pruned heavily further down the shrub.
  • RubytooRubytoo On the sofa, Southerly aspect.Posts: 1,287
    edited April 2019
    I appreciate your problem as we used to have a lilac here in a small garden.
    It was really nice but suckered badly. In the end I got rid.
    Also appreciate Borderlines idea and advice wonder if ours was a particularly bad one for suckering.

    But, I got given a Syringa meyeri Palabin, which is a kind of miniature lilac. It does not sucker and after fifteen odd years it has stayed small and though the flower bunches are smaller. as is the foliage, it still packs a punch. the smell is divine. And the downside? It comes in one colour which is pale/medium lilac.
    It seems to attain around six feet high and not gone over that height. The eventual spread is about the same.
    Just in case you get overtaken and fed up madpenguin :)

    ( I think it is quite common, shoot me but Morrisons supermarket had nice specimens for sale last year).

    Edit: Ours took some digging out. I was younger then..... :D
  • madpenguinmadpenguin Isle of WightPosts: 2,422
    I think I shall continue as I have been then and that neglect of sorts will weaken the suckering.
    Taking it out is not really an option as it would just be too difficult.
    There is a barrier of sorts at the back by the fence in that it is a concrete gravel board.
    I can possibly sort out anything that is within reach at the front.
    Thanks for your thoughts.
    “Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings
  • RubytooRubytoo On the sofa, Southerly aspect.Posts: 1,287
    I know I am bad but, sawing the lot and applying root out would sort it if it became too hard.
    You won't thank me for that one :D Sorry we do get attached to things and I can appreciate your lilac is one penguin :) Just so difficult when one only has little wingies and flippers....
  • owd potterowd potter Posts: 705
    Mine is the same, always suckering at the back out of reach, it's as if they know.
    Do you get along with your neighbour well?, those fence panels look removable which would provide you all the access required from next door.
    Just a thought...
    Owd

    Just another day at the plant...
  • madpenguinmadpenguin Isle of WightPosts: 2,422
    edited April 2019
    Where they sucker at the back by the fence is next to the concrete gravel board so hopefully should not sucker next door.The board is about 1ft deep.The neighbours lawn is also right up to the boards on their side so any escapees would presumably be constantly mown down.At the front is a stone edging next to a brick paved area,so the suckers are more or less contained within the bed.
    Think I shall just be keeping it under control for now but may have to sort out in years to come!
    “Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings
  • Are the suckers actually causing you a problem?  They don't appear to be spreading much.  It's nicer to look at than bark and fence, isn't it?
  • madpenguinmadpenguin Isle of WightPosts: 2,422
    Are the suckers actually causing you a problem?  They don't appear to be spreading much.  It's nicer to look at than bark and fence, isn't it?
    I suppose they are not really a major problem when I think about it!
    If I take out suckers that I can reach and just generally keep the whole thing it check it should be OK.
    Lovely flowers and gives height to the garden so will keep an eye on it year by year and only take drastic action if necessary!!
    “Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings
Sign In or Register to comment.