Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Lilac

We have an aging lilac, probably twenty years old, in the path of some house repair. My hard edged assessment is removal. After all, it's running along the foundation, suckering as it goes. At some point it is a weed that is very hard, nearly impossible really, to yank. For what? Two or three weeks of lightly scented flowers? 

I am not a fan of shrubs up against a wooden house, if for nothing other than the inconvenience to repair and the humid environment they create near all that wood. So what is slowing me down? Shouldn't have this old, rangy lilac been cut down months ago? 

What would you do?

More information: the tree has a pretty sizable knot of 4" stems at its base. On the left is the septic electrical and the right the gas line. The septic electric wire definitely crosses the lilac without proper protection as I found when digging for the landing piers just a few feet away. Digging will be treacherous. Hmmm. I may transplant one of the many suckers and take it out without removing the roots. Too bad this has to play itself out with nearly all of the foundation plantings. 


  1. Maybe cut it back hard over the winter while it's dorment? You might be able to get a small shrub out of it.

    You could still pull it out next year if it's still a problem. Just a thought.

  2. I've had similar dilemmas and couldn't make a decision. Then I sold my house to my daughter and son-in-law; without so much as a moment's hesitation, down they went. Looking back, I should have done the deed.

  3. Those two or three weeks of lilac flowers have convinced me to do all I can to accommodate our old lilac bush/tree. It sounds like your heart may be telling you the same thing. If you cannot transplant your lilac to a better location because of its current size, can you cut it back when autumn brings dormancy and then transplant it in the future? Leslie in Oregon