Four Ways To Keep Your Lilac Bushes Healthy

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Known for their fresh fragrance and beautiful flowers, lilac bushes are common in yards throughout North America. If you want your lilac bush to keep blooming healthfully year after year, then it's essential to care for it properly. Following these four steps will encourage your tree to grow thicker and produce more flowers, and will also help protect it from common diseases such as powdery mildew disease and lilac blight.

Have your tree pruned every spring.

Ideally, you should have this done as soon as the snow melts. Waiting until June or later will reduce the number of flowers that appear that season. Regular pruning ensures that the tree is not wasting its energy caring for old branches. It also ensures that air can flow freely between the tree's branches, which prevents moisture accumulation and helps protect against fungal infections,

Apply water to the ground, not to the tree.

In periods of drought, providing water can ensure your lilac tree stays healthy. The right way to water a lilac bush is to apply the water to the ground around the tree, rather than spraying the tree itself with a hose. Getting the tree wet can increase its risk of lilac blight and fungal diseases.

Mulch around the tree.

Lilac trees require plenty of nutrients, especially if you want their blooms to be deeply colored and fragrant. Applying an organic mulch around the base of the tree is a good way to add nutrients back to the soil. Wood chips, pine needles, and composted leaves are all good organic mulch options. Apply a layer that's about 2 to 3 inches deep in a circle around the tree's base, leaving about 3 inches between the tree's trunk and the mulch to prevent trunk rot.

Pull weeds out from around the tree's base.

Don't use a weed whacker to trim around the tree, as you might injure the trunk. Instead, pull the weeds out from around the tree, or use a small set of hand trimmers to trim them back. Leaving weeds in place may trap moisture near the trunk, leading to disease. The weeds may also harbor insects, such as mealy worms, which can feed on lilac trees' leaves.

Lilacs require more careful care when they're young than after they become established. When your lilacs are young, their roots are shorter, so you'll need to water them more often to keep them from drying out. You'll also have to pay careful attention to their pruning, so they grow into the right shapes. After they're a few years old, you can scale back on your care somewhat and still enjoy lovely trees. Talk to experts like Tidd Tree for more information.