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When and how to propagate lilac shoots growing next to main stem

last month
last modified: 29 days ago

I have no problem digging up a lilac sucker with roots attached where there is plenty of space between it and the main stem, and planting it someplace it.

But I don't know how to best deal with several lilac bushes that have 6- 9 stems jammed right next to each other with only 1-2 " space between, so that it looks like a bush and not a young tree, and with one lilac plant that seems to have two thinner stems growing out of the soil, attached to the main stem underground. These suckers are from 4 inches to 36 inches tall.

We are fairly new to growing lilacs, don't even know if we have trees or bushes. I am pretty sure they are all French lilac ( Syringa vulgaris).

We don't want to injure or cause a set back to the main stem.

Should we leave them alone and let mother nature sort it out ? Or remove the suckers to give the main branch space to grow without competition?

We also want to preserve the suckers, plant someplace else, or give away. . .How do we remove and propage the suckers that may or may not have roots? I suggested to dig up the whole plant and see if we can divide the root system, but my husband is against it.

It is now mid June and pretty hot in Toronto. Can it be done now, or should we wait ( at the expense of the main stem) ?

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