Esspee Posts: 274
I have taken over care of a friend's garden temporarily and the Lilac tree which bloomed well in the spring is now covered in brown leaves. There is no obvious cause and I am tempted to cut back the stems to encourage healthy new growth. I would certainly do this if it was in my own garden. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
Lilacs often lose leaves early in the autumn, it's nearly September and we've certainly had a lot of hot dry weather and if it's a bit parched it might have decided it's better to lose leaves now in order to slow down the rate of transpiration (loss of moisture by evaporation from the leaves).
I certainly wouldn't do anything at ths time of year that will encourage new growth - it won't be ripe enough to withstand the frosts when the winter arrives and will be lost.
If the lilac tree needs anything I suggest it might be a thorough soaking and the application of a good layer of mulch (don't let the mulch touch the bark on the trunk).
Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.
Thank you for that Dfa. Will leave it until springtime then cut out old wood once I see signs of life.