Return to the Shrubs Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Lilac leaves brown and dying

Posted by brendave z5 MI (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 29, 06 at 11:28

Hi everyone,

My Tinkerbelle lilac is experiencing die back, a few branches at a time. I have googled to see if I can find any pics that look like what it has but no luck.

The leaves feel dry and powdery but are brown. There are unaffected branches next to dead and dying branches. I noticed the same thing happening to my dogwood shrub in the back yard, about 200 feet from the lilac.

Does anyone have any ideas what this could be?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Lilac leaves brown and dying

brendave - GW actually allows HTML code with the "img src". I posted your pic below:

How long have the shrubs been planted? Sometimes there is a root problem where the root system can't support the top and the shrub ends up "self-pruning" by killing back branches. Once the problem is resolved, the types that tend to sucker will often recover and send up new growth from the roots and the remaining branches.

Alternately, there may be a disease that impacts the roots like phytophera. That disease can impact dogwoods as well, although I believe it is a slightly different organism from that found among lilacs (but giving the same result).

You could try pruning out the branches with brown leaves back well below where they begin and see what happens and if possible, you may want to save some to take to your local county extension office to see if they can positively ID what's going on.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lilac diseases

RE: Lilac leaves brown and dying

Thanks for posting the pic for me and for the link. I can't get the link to work, though. I guess I am missing something though because none of the descriptions of diseases sound or look like what is happening to this lilac.

The shrub has been in that spot for 4 years now. I noticed one branch this May that died off after the flowers had bloomed so I cut that back. It has never done this before.

Has anyone else ever had a problem like this with their lilacs? Help please!

RE: Lilac leaves brown and dying

is that a sprinkler head at the base of the plant????

could you be blasting the heck out of it.. day in and day out???


RE: Lilac leaves brown and dying

Yes, it is a sprinkler head. No, not watering it to death. Sprinklers only go off every 3 days for 3 minutes. Maybe not enough water? I really don't think so though. It looks and feels like there is something on the leaves. I was hoping someone had a similar problem or had seen something like this.

RE: Lilac leaves brown and dying

If the sprinklers are only going for 3 minutes, that's definitely not enough water - especially when it was hot as hades! They need a good long soaking for about 20 - 30 minutes (depending on the drainage and whether puddling occurs before then). If the water is actually splashing on the leaves too, then they might be getting a fungus splashing up on them.

And as a sidenote, which could be an issue too based on how the weather has been the past month, they can fry in place if the roots can't get water up to the leaves during blazing hot days. Mine are starting to crisp up now. Sigh.

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Shrubs Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here