Pruning back Lilac tree

Asked September 30, 2020, 6:42 PM EDT

We have an old Lilac tree in our yard. I would like to trim it back, but don't how far back can I trim it without hurting it or killing it. It is an old heritage type tree. Please advise.

Linn County Oregon

1 Response


Thanks for your question about pruning your lilac. Based on resources that I found, it is possible to prune lilacs vigorously in winter and let them grow anew:

If this lilac has sentimental value or is central to your landscaping you might prefer to consider the three-year less drastic method detailed in the directions linked above.

Once you have the shrub putting on new growth, you can start pruning it after flowering to get it to rebloom yearly. Here are some directions to help:

These directions are general for all sorts of shrubs but have recommendations for lilacs:

I hope that helps you get started, please reach out if we can assist further.