Is there something that can be done to prevent further damage and promote healing where a branch broke on a lilac tree?


Branches from our lilac tree broke off leaving a large scar. I assume will heal on its own but is there something I should be doing to prevent bird/insect damage and promote healing? I did make a pruning cut where the wood was still attached.


Jonathan Foster, Home Horticulture Outreach Professional
Generally speaking, no, I wouldn’t do anything other than what you have (i.e., remove the damaged branch) to promote the healing. The bottom of that break cuts pretty deeply into the heart of the shrub, but there is still good collar tissue at the top, so hopefully you were able to leave that in place–the collar region contains specialized cells that callus over and heal wounds effectively, so you never want to cut back flush with the main stem if you can help it.

I will include our video on how to prune lilacs as a guide for any further work you might need to do, and mention that lilacs will often send up suckers from the crown in response to a large limb being removed, so be on the lookout for that.

Happy gardening.