Lilac Tree Problem

Discussion in 'Trees, Shrubs and Roses' started by Kazzawazza, Aug 1, 2022.

  1. Kazzawazza

    Kazzawazza Seedling

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    We have a lilac tree on the patio that grows really well every year. However, last year our neighbour decided to cut the tree back 3 feet + onto our land whilst we were away on holiday and without our permission. He also did this with 2 of our other trees, none of which were over his side of the boundary line. The matter was reported to the police as criminal damage.

    This year the lilac tree hasn’t grown at all. At the start of the season, one half of the tree started to grow a few leaves, but over the past few weeks they have now died back. We believe there may have been some foul play by the neighbour i.e., weed killer. Is the tree diseased or is it dead? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    I’ve attached an image of the tree as it usually looks each year and 2 of how it looks now.

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  3. mart

    mart Strong Ash

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    Trimming or pruning will not cause that to happen ! Just shoot the neighbor,, problem solved !! ( just kidding) That tree has been sprayed with something !! 24D ??
     
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  4. Daniel W

    Daniel W In Flower

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    I agree with @mart. Lilacs are highly vigorous. Pruning does not kill them. When they are pruned, they send out rapidly growing new shoots.

    There are two things that make me wonder, however. If the neighbor sprayed it with herbicide, why didn't overspray affect your other plants? Wouldn't it be difficult to just spray your lilac tree?

    The second is, in your first photo where it is blooming so beautifully, it looks like some branches might be bare. I cant tell for sure - maybe my imagination. It's possible it has a disease.

    But I have about fifteen lilac bushes on my property. Most, I dug up from my old place when they were seven to nine feet tall (I'll never do that again). I cut a lot of roots and tops. Every one of them survived and grew at their new home. Lilacs are tough bushes.

    By the way, shooting your neighbor is not advisable. Are there crocodiles around that you could lure to his house? (just kidding).
     
  5. Kazzawazza

    Kazzawazza Seedling

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    Unfortunately, we have whats known as nuisance neighbours. The tree is right next to the neighbours garage and he’s a retired roofer. What we believe he's done is pour weed killer under the fence at the side of his garage, which would have gone directly onto the roots, with no visual evidence of what he’s done.

    We have a tree surgeon/arborist coming round to look at the tree later in the week to get his opinion. He prunes and shapes our trees each year, including the lilac. I’ve also been in touch with our insurers as we have legal cover. As the tree is within a block paved area, the paving will also need taking up, the dead tree taking out and the paving re-laid which we would have to get somebody in to do, so will come at a cost.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2022
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  6. Pacnorwest

    Pacnorwest In Flower

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    The neighbors spay my blackberries. And hitting my Doug fir tree in the process. Several limbs have browned and died. I’m putting up a sign do not spray organic garden. If they do it again …well … two can play that game. They sprayed another 80’ Doug fit tree totally slow death, the cost was $500.00 to have it removed. I mean really is that necessary? They are extremely passive aggressive . I have horses and I have talked to them nicely about spraying anything near them on our property.
    I’m very Sorry your lilac tree looks has died back possibly from over spray. It was a well cared for and well pruned beautiful tree. Some people have no clue what Havoc Spraying can cause. Plus if your like me they become part of the architecture of the garden so many side effects when loosing a tree.
     
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  7. Kazzawazza

    Kazzawazza Seedling

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    I’m going to talk to the tree surgeon on Thursday to see if it is totally dead or worth a hard cut back to see if it does grow next year. Also, there are suckers that are still fresh and green at root level.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2022
  8. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    These sorts of neighbour antics I find infuriating. Can you have the municipality to take soil samples of the soil around your dying Syringa ? I wonder if the tin is still in your neighbour’s shed.
    I hope that you can get this sorted, mate.
     
  9. Beeker

    Beeker In Flower

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    This just popped into my head, but if the soil sample comes back clean, check for copper nails or pins.
     
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  10. Kazzawazza

    Kazzawazza Seedling

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    Never heard of pins and nails killing a tree???

    One half of the tree failed to grow at all this year but the other half did start to get a few leaves early in the spring then they just died off all of a sudden.

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    Last edited: Aug 3, 2022
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  11. Kazzawazza

    Kazzawazza Seedling

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    Just a thought ….

    The leaves went brown and curled in July, around the time that we were having hot weather in the UK, one day it hit 40 degrees. Could the leaves be sun scorched? Has anybody else had problems with their trees being sun scorched? If so what did you do?

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  12. Tetters

    Tetters In Flower

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    We can't remember where you are based in the Uk Kazz :smt105
     
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  13. Kazzawazza

    Kazzawazza Seedling

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  14. Tetters

    Tetters In Flower

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    Ah, somewhere up near Logan then, we wondered why you didn't stick it on your profile?
    Good to ''see'' you on the Stew :)
    Actually we had some difficult neighbours move in yesterday. They only have a small garden and small house, and four very large, loud German shepherd dogs still whining to get indoors at this late hour (nearly 11pm)
     
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  15. mart

    mart Strong Ash

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    Let us know what the arborist says !
     
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  16. Kazzawazza

    Kazzawazza Seedling

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    The Arboralist came round today. The tree is most likely dead, mainly caused by sawing through the thick main branches at the back by our neighbour (mostly on the side which didn’t leaf at all) together with a hot summer, when the tree was already weak from last year. He said we could wait to see what happens in spring though and not to cut it back or do anything more with it this year if we want to do that, which is what we are going to do.

    He said as lilacs don’t have deep roots, it would be quite easy for him to get the tree out and he has a machine which can grind down the roots and we could put another 2m lilac tree in its place. This is what we will do if the tree doesn’t grow back in the spring.

    I’m also considering having CCTV installed because of what the neighbour did and also because of some of the other horrible things he’s done in the past.
     

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