Pruning a standard lilac

(Question)

My gardener planted a standard lilac in June this year. The blooms were not plentiful. I have not pruned the tree so far.

I live in zone 5 and it is now October. Should I remove the dry blooms now?

Thanks for your help.

(Answer)

Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners with your inquiry. Ideally, the time to prune mature lilac plants is just after the flowers have faded. They set the next season’s flower buds almost immediately, so late pruning¬†will mean sacrificing next year’s flowers. Pruning early just after flowering also gives the new shoots more energy to develop.