Suckers are new shoots that grow from established lilac bushes. Each sucker has the potential to become an independent lilac bush, making suckers excellent candidates for cuttings. Unwanted suckers can sap energy from a bush that would otherwise produce more foliage or blossoms. Pruning suckers from a lilac bush involves digging them up; absent that, they will re-sprout and multiply over time.
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Things you need
- Garden shears
- Hand spade
- Sucker killer
Cut back any suckers that emerge from established branches above the ground. Use garden shears to cut the suckers back to the spot where they meet the parent branch.
Use a hand spade to dig to the base of any suckers emerging from below the ground. These suckers are shooting off roots, and you need to cut them at the root level.
Cut the suckers off the roots when you identify where they originate.
Cover the root with the displaced soil and firm the soil with your hands.
Apply sucker-killer spray to any suckers that emerge from roots that are too deep to dig up. Follow the application instructions on the package when spraying sucker killer.
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