How refreshing (Lilac Pruning)

We are collectively and individually facing many challenges. In fact, one may say we are facing a myriad of challenges, by definition too numerous to list. It can be difficult to show up right now, meaning it is very understandable if the yard has gotten away on you.

And yet, there is tomorrow. In our gardens and yards, there is always the chance to begin anew. There is a plant so hardy, that they are begging for a fresh start. You likely have it in your yard at this very moment! We are talking Syringa vulgaris – the common lilac (and for you plant nerds out there, let me say – many of my favourite plants are vulgaris) Interestingly, the common lilac is a member of the olive family (Oleaceae) and while having many different varieties, is well know for its fragrant blooms and hardy nature.

Many years ago, we were stumped by the problem of bushes and hedges having gotten too big and overgrown (frequent small pruning or shaping is best for bushes and hedges) It was a time suck (read also: budget buster) to carefully cut back overgrown bushes and frankly, once you cut them back by half, you end up with something akin to a flat top/buzz cut! There is a multi year pruning plan – take out a third of the old branches and dead wood every year for three years. But that takes time and many visits. We started experimenting with and having great success with what we named “the deep refresh”.

There are many benefits and only a few drawbacks to a deep refresh situation.

  • Fresh growth is much easier to shape and keep a handle on (easily within the capacity of an enthusiastic homeowner and no longer a budget buster! You can likely skip a few years before your next arborist visit)
  • More Blooms!
  • Frees up the chi! The joy of tidying up – let me tell you! Once we cut the hedge back to 8-12″, we are able to clear out a lot of leaves, dead branches – you name it.
  • It will give you a sense of the space and size of your yard. Trees, bushes and hedges grow slowly and can sort of sneak up on you! Cutting them back ca renew the potential in your yard.
  • Is a strategy that works with many different kinds of bushes and hedges!
  • The main drawback is the loss of purpose for a short period of time. Is the hedge there to discourage walk through traffic or provide privacy for the hot tub? Maybe we would encourage a different pruning plan!

Would you like to enjoy your backyard? Would you like a fresh start? Call Reta at 204-730-0368 or fill out our handy dandy Request a Quote form!

Want to be ready to quiz Reta? Check out 10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Arborist or Tree Service

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: