Pruning Lilacs


Was out of town 3yrs ago, when my 5yr old fell victim to an ice storm. With a big yard, I just didn’t notice the bottom of a branch that was slightly injured by ice, making the bush look like a hand, with the bad branch, its thumb. 3yrs later, the branch still blooms, but appears as an unwanted appendage. The branch appears as a bend at the bottom of the bush, so I fear losing the bush if I cut it off? Thanks much, for any guidance on this.


Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardener group with your question.  I am assuming that your lilac is a multi-stem shrub and that the branch that is bending is just one out of a number of branches.  Lilacs can be pruned in summer after blooming or when the shrub is dormant.

You can certainly cut off this wayward branch down to 5-8 cm of the ground without the risk of losing your shrub.  Be careful not to damage the bark of nearby branches as you do your pruning.