Syringa reticulata / Lilac (trees)

While most are familiar with the Lilac shrub.  Fewer people are familiar with the tree species.  These low care trees produce rich creamy white panicle flowers in mid to late June.  Lasting about a week these trees make a great extender of spring flowers by blooming later than many other flowering trees.  


JAPANESE TREE LILAC

Japanese Tree Lilac

Syringa reticulata

This handsome small specimen tree or large shrub bears creamy white flowers in large panicles in June and July.  Help has been given to these trees to maintain a single trunk.  Will often grow as a multiple trunk-ed tree if allowed. 

Height: 20 - 25 ft

Spread: 20 - 25 ft

Fall Color: Insignificant (No change)

USDA Zone: 3 - 8


IVORY SILK® LILAC

Ivory Silk® Lilac

Syringa reticulata 'Ivory Silk'

This Sheridan Nursery selection has a sturdy, more compact, oval growth habit than the common Japanese tree lilac. A most attractive small flowering tree with cherry-like bark, it bears large creamy white flower clusters in early July. It will perform best in full sun. 

Height: 20 - 25 ft

Spread: 10 - 15 ft

Fall Color: Insignificant (No Change)

USDA Zone: 3 - 8


CARE: POSITIVES & DRAWBACKs


POSITIVES:

As a lilac, the positives abound.  Offering rich green leathery foliage that stands up to wind and sun these are a terrific tree for the smaller landscape.  Lilac are extremely tolerant of drought and adverse soil types.  Doing best in sandy slightly acidic soils they do well in almost any soil type.  Rich creamy white blooms add great interest to the late spring landscape.  Some minor pruning can and should be done to this tree when young but once established, relatively nothing needs to be done.  Spent blooms can be removed to aid with the aesthetic aspects of this tree.  

JAPANESE TREE LILAC ABOUT TO BLOOM


MATURE SEED POD OF TREE LILAC

drawbacks:

There are relatively few drawbacks to these trees.  They are not susceptible to many diseases that pose a threat.

What probably causes lilac the most trouble are wet soggy sites.  Lilac do not generally tolerate consistently wet conditions.


PRUNING:

The optimal time to prune these plants is in early summer just after they have finished flowering.

For more information, see our page on pruning.