I love the flowers of springtime… the little bits of color that begin peeping out from recently dormant earth really just brings a smile to my face. At this point the crocuses have come and gone, the hyacinths and daffodils are on their way out, but the tulips are in full bloom! My bearded irises are just showing those gorgeous blade-type leaves, and my lilacs have little clusters that have begun to change from green and will soon be bursting into those lovely, sweet smelling, teeny-tiny flowers!
Yes, I adore lilacs!
The problem with our lilacs is that we have a narrow driveway that leads to the main parking area behind the house, and there are 2 very old, very large lilac bushes (trees?) between the house and the driveway. That means that we really need to keep up on the pruning, to ensure that a car can make it into the parking area without having to duke it out with a lilac branch. For the most part, this is not a problem. However, there is one piece of information with which a person should be armed before beginning to prune a lilac tree- its flowering habit!
Lilacs only bloom on the previous year’s new growth!
That means, should you decide to be zealous in your pruning this year, there is a chance you will not have any blooms next year! For that reason, I tend to prune mine around this time of year. It’s easy to distinguish between the new growth and old at this point, but soon it won’t be as stems of the new springs turn from green to brown, and then shortly thereafter, begin to develop bark.
The other technique I try to employ is to alternate my focus between inner branches and outer branches, annually. This allows me to do some zealous pruning without completely annihilating all of the new growth that will bring those wonderful little flowers and their heady fragrance!
Once they bloom, maybe I’ll update this post with a nice photo!