My Japanese lilac was impacted by the snow this winter and fell to the ground. I have tried to secure it to my fence in an attempt to right it but it has fallen again. It is so top heavy that the lower branches are growing horizontally. Should I cut it down to the base or dig it out? I planted it approximately 10 years ago and have never had any issues. It has always bloomed in the spring and summer.
Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners,
You can lift and support the lilac trunks, and tie to the fence, or, if you prefer, tie the branches to sturdy stakes. After the lilac finishes blooming, you can dead-head the flowers, and prune out the older wood — bigger than your thumb — down to the ground. Remove any damaged, and crossing, branches. This summer pruning reduces the size of the lilac, making it easier to hold its weight. Our Toronto Master Gardener website has information on how to prune lilacs. Pruning lilac
For more research, this short video by Russell Tree Experts has information on rejuvenation of an older lilac shrub: Rejuvenation of a Lilac