Lilac trunk look chewed on, around 5".

Asked March 15, 2019, 12:05 AM EDT

Planted 3 years ago. flowered last year and now it is around 6'. Last March 14th, while apply compost I noticed the trunk after a foot upward there is this 4" long chewed bark. Top branch have blackend buds that I think will just fall off. Is this considerd blight ? I have 3 cats in the backyard that could possibly harm it. Should I leave it alone or cut the trunk? Sorry, I cannot recall what kind of lilac it is.

King County Washington

3 Responses

Thank you for your question. It is difficult to diagnose this type of problem without a closeup photo of the ‘chewed bark’ as well as one of the whole plant. Are you able to send those? Thanks!

Please see attached photo. Looking forward to your response.

Thank you and have a wonderful day!


Thanks, Gloria. The photo isn’t too clear, but it appears that your cats are using it as a scratching post. There is no photo of the black buds, which can be caused by anything from sub-freezing weather to a soil issue. Your cats may be using this soil as a litter box, and the urine is providing too much nitrogen. The only way to know that would be to have a soil test. I suggest you not cut off the trunk and hope it heals itself, and put a barrier such as a fence around it to exclude the cats. Give it a year and see how it does in a cat-free zone. Good luck!