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lilac

sotc

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hey paul, or anyone, i hedged my lilacs today and decided to go and remove the seed pods so ill get more flowers next year. what am i looking at here? where should my cut be?
 

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Stumper

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Willie-Popular theory says remove seeds for more flowers........but there isn't much evidence that it works. On the other hand shearing truly does NOT help.
 
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Frans

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On some trees, flowers come from new wood. Don't know if it is true about your lilac
 
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Tom_Scheller

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Lilacs flower on old wood. They definitely benefit from cutting the oldest branches out every once and a while. I too have heard that cutting old flowers to prevent seeds, is supposed to be of benefit, though I haven't done it.

TS
 

sotc

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Willie-Popular theory says remove seeds for more flowers........but there isn't much evidence that it works. On the other hand shearing truly does NOT help.
yeah i but i like it square:)
well unless theres other opinion i wont go to all that detail then8)
 
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Mike Maas

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I vote you cut the deadheads out of half your hedge, and report the results back next year.
 
M

Mike Maas

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On some trees, flowers come from new wood. Don't know if it is true about your lilac
It takes about 7 years before a lilac stem will flower, but the flowers occur on the tip of last years new growth.
Your typical "remove one third each year" pruning will render your lilacs bloom free.
 
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Frans

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Thanks Mike.
A third seems excessive to me. Sure like the liliac fragrance. We have one in our backyard.
 

Paul B

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Your typical "remove one third each year" pruning will render your lilacs bloom free.
not necessarily Mike. If you remove one third in a hedge cutting or shearing fashion, then yes, however if you selectively remove one third of the oldest stems to the base of the bush after flowering, like forsythia or mockorange, then you will be fine and dandy. :)
 

sotc

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this is my hedge, its about 7 feet high and 30-40 feet long. didnt take 1/3, just trying to square it up a little. good idea mike i think i will do half. now back to the first question, where do i cut? seems like the buds at the base of the seed stems my be next years flowers?
 

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Mike Maas

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In that first picture, just snip off the whole center stem, leave the two side forks without a flower.
 

sotc

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cool, thats what i started doing, then i was afraid i was cutting next years blooms also
 
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Mike Maas

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Your thinking about fruit trees that have fruit spurs which flower year after year on the same plant part. Lilacs are more like spirea or some other multi-stemmed bushes, they flower only on the new growth. That's why you prune them right after flowering, never before, so you don't cut any of next years flowers.
That's why lilac flowers are way the heck up there where you can't reach them. LOL! It's also why apple trees are so showy, the flowers are all over the tree, inside and out.
 
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