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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.


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,826

    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.

  • EsspeeEsspee Posts: 274

    Thank you for that Dfa.  Will leave it until springtime then cut out old wood once I see signs of life.

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