Large lilac styling advice

(Christopher J Parker) #1

CI really love this massive lilac, and am hoping to reduce the visual weight of the truck and build the branches enough to support the large blooms.

(Jonas Dupuich) #2

Looks like a fun project, thanks for sharing. It the tree’s healthy, you could end up with lots of new shoots come spring.

That sounds like a good idea to build up the branches enough to support the flowers. Doing so will also help with the transition from heavy trunk to heavy branches to fine branches.

Feel free to provide an update when the tree is in leaf :slight_smile:

(Christopher J Parker) #3

Thanks for the reply!

These Lilacs are quite amazing in regards to endurance. I am wondering to what extent if any a I would slow down bulking up branches by seriously reducing the truck this spring (30%). As a carpentry I am drawn to curving, but I don’t want to jeopardize good development.

(Jonas Dupuich) #4

Good question - if the roots are well established and the tree grew vigorously last year you’d be in good shape, otherwise it might help to get the tree stronger before doing the work.

I’m not familiar with lilac wood - do you know if it’s on the hard or soft side? Typically deciduous trees, with the exception of ume and a few others with hard wood, aren’t developed with deadwood as it can rot relatively quickly.

(Christopher J Parker) #5

It is quite hardwood, but I have seen many lilacs in nature with deadwood. Hopefully some treatment with a wood preserve will help.

I did some rough work yesterday, as it does have a great rootball.

(John) #6

Wood preserving. I use a Wood Petrifier I buy from Home Depot. 16 ounce container model number 164440. Runs $14.29 a bottle. It works very well. I buy this online and have it delivered to the store or home. The product is not carried as stock in the stores. I paint it on with an artist’s brush…overnight and the wood is hard. Just sharing since I read of your preserving interest.

(Christopher J Parker) #7

Thanks John

Does this product on all type of trees?

(John) #8

My best answer would be yes…I don’t see why it would not. It’s primary purpose, why it’s sold at Home Depot, is to make soft rotted areas of wood hard again. A good example might be a window sill that’s had to many years of water. The wood rots. Gets mushy soft. The petrifier soaks into the wood and some sort of chemical reaction bonds to the wood and makes it hard again. Somewhat like an epoxy I guess. I’ve used it on Water Elm, American Elm, Burning Bush, Hornbeam, Hackberry and Maple trees. I don’t apply it to the live portion of the tree…just the deadwood area. That’s why I use an artist’s paintbrush…accurate placement right up to the edge of live wood.

I let the area I will treat dry well first. I remove the worst of the rot to try and find something somewhat solid.

It dries clear. After about three coats (the instructions recommend 2-3 coats letting dry between coats) it leaves a slight gloss finish. I simple remove the gloss with a rotary brush. I also used a common household scouring pad…one of the thin green pads that’s sort of like steel wool I guess. After 24 hours it is fairly solid and on my trees has not rotted back. Stays solid even as watered.

I wouldn’t recommend putting the treatment on live tree areas. I do not know what that would do. And…like in the Ghostbusters…don’t cross the streams…bad things will happen. So…I just don’t apply where it is not needed.

Post photos of your progress on this tree/bush. It’s a nice piece of material to work with.

(John) #9

Here are a few photos of the bottle and instructions on the bottle. I always test on non-important deadwood first so I have a better idea of how to apply and what might happen. Advice: test before use on your tree.

(Christopher J Parker) #10

Thanks again!

I’ll see if Home Depot Canada has it.

I’ll certainly keep up with the pics. I’ll be repotting soon and will likely pull out a lot from the centre.

(Paul Pashley) #11


Lots of posts about lilac on Walter Pall’s blog. Here’s one but I’m sure there are others:

(Christopher J Parker) #12

Love Walter’s work, love!!!

Little update first time since collection (3yrs ago) my little monster is flowering :heart_eyes:

(Christopher J Parker) #13

Another update, seems it is actually a Lonicare Tatarica. Not that real styling isn’t 5-10 years away, but the smaller blooms will change my approach.

(Jonas Dupuich) #14

I like the pink, and the foliage looks great.

(Christopher J Parker) #15


Any suggestions on denseification of blooms?

(Jonas Dupuich) #16

I’m used to lonicera producing lots of flowers in the landscape, though I haven’t grown them for bonsai. I’d imagine the first order of business is developing the primary branches which would entail wiring and letting new shoots grow out for a while. Once the ramification is in place, the goal will be to get the flowers you’re looking for.

(Christopher J Parker) #17

Got that massive Loni into a more bonsai styled pot. Had very dense roots, very healthy. Hopefully I can’t thick the branch structure over the next 3-5 years, maybe get it into a real pot :sunglasses: