Lilac tree with hole in it

Asked June 15, 2019, 4:40 PM EDT

I have a lilac in my yard that was cultivated as a tree. It was in great shape until a few years ago when snow slid off the roof and wiped out one side of the tree, ripping the branches from that side. The tree has come back, amazingly, with new branches springing from what was left of a sort of "crown" at the top of the tree. But just below that "crown", you can see daylight through a hole that developed from branches ripped from that side. It looks like the new branches are taking their nourishment from the vertical sides of the tree coming from the bottom/roots up on the outside of the tree, on the outer sides of the hole. So my question: should I fill in the hole with something to try to prevent it from rotting further and completely rotting out the crown/new branches? I thought the tree was "done for" until I saw those new branches starting to come back. I have two pictures to help you visualize this.

Prince George's County Maryland

3 Responses

Your lilac has a tremendous will to live.
You shouldn't put anything in the hole.
We'd let it progress however it will, and enjoy it while it survives. Right now it has artistic interest, as well as it could be attractive to wildlife, including cavity nesting birds, tree frogs etc.

Lilacs are pretty tough plants. If the roots are healthy it wouldn't be surprising to have suckers shoot up from near the base of the trunk.


I agree, Christine; this lilac is a tough one! It always has suckers from the base. I trim them from time to time. Thanks again!


If you like, you may consider leaving some of the suckers which with time will mature into a new lilac with blooms.