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Q: We have a large California Lilac (tree) – it is at least 10′ tall and 10′ wide. The trunks are about 6″. It has a lot of dead wood, brown leaves, and split branches. I have tried to cut some away. Some are dead, but there is a bit of green just at the ends. Should I cut these all away? How hard can I prune this, and when? Is there any point in hoping to save the branches that are all brown except for the tips? We are in Nanaimo, B.C. and we did have a very heavy snow winter. We have just bought this house, so I do not know anything else about it. Thanks for any help!
Remove whatever is damaged, weak or old wood by thinning. And prune to nearest viable leaf bud or branching angle when cutting back remaining branches. Try to retain the natural form of this plant is possible. Best time to prune is generally in the spring to mid summer. This plant does not regenerate easily from old growth. Some topdressing around the base of the plant, e.g. 5 to 10 cm (2 to 4 in.) keep away from the main truck by 10 cm (4 in.), would be beneficial towards plant’s health.
More about “California Lilac” care:Basic careWinter DamagePruning