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Wild Cherry and Lilac Guild

 
Simone McDivitt
Posts: 1
Location: Asheville, NC
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My land has a wild cherry tree already well established, with a large lilac bush growing under and around it. Are these two compatible to nurture a guild around?

If so, what other plants would benefit them most?

If incompatible, what else could I do with the lilac? I'm in western North Carolina, and its very large and healthy for the area, so I'd like to save it and nurture a new guild around the lilac, if one needs to go.
 
Nicole Alderman
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Location: Pacific Northwest
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I just found your post while wondering the same sort of thing. I have lilacs planted in a protected wetland by my property's previous owner, and I'm trying to figure out how best to utilize them. Other than edible flowers, what uses do lilacs have?

Looking in the Plants for the Future database, I see that their leaves and stems are good for dyes, and that they form a hedge.

They probably also help attract beneficial insects, as well as giving bees another source of food early in the spring.

Thinking about that, they might be good for creating a hedge to keep out deer from a garden or orchard. They'll make things pretty and attract beneficial insects. They also might act as a "sacrificial"plant for snails, as snails like them but don't seem to really harm them much.

Since your lilacs are very hearty, they should be pretty resilient if you want to transplant them elsewhere to form a hedge. Since they sucker and have surface roots, they might compete with your wild cherries--I don't have enough experience to know.

I do know that they wouldn't work as a natural support/trellis for vines (beans, blackberries, grapes, kiwis) as they easily get pulled down (mine have been pulled down by our trailing blackberries...which I've never seen pull down anything else).

I hope my limited research and experience helps, and hopefully by bumping this, we'll get someone with more experience/knowledge to see it!
 
Rick English
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Location: Central Pennsylvania, USA
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I think you may have the start of a black walnut tree guild. The lilacs won't mind the black walnuts for sure (I have both), and I am pretty sure the cherry will also be fine (according to some black walnut tolerant lists I have seen):
black walnut guild

Here is some more on a black walnut guild:
Food forest, question about black walnuts

Black walnuts aren't for everyone, but I have figured out how to make do with mine. I figure they have been here long before I moved in, and will likely outlast me.

Lilac also competes well against grasses: Now I have a lilac...but I'm confused about removing grass around it?

Lilas work well as a windbreak, and here is a theory that they may create a damp spot in an otherwise dry-ish location:
Can certain plants condense more moisture than they require?

There was an observation that lilac is not bothered by being too close to an outhouse:
Poop beast

Another interesting observation is that lilacs bloom at the same time as apples and paw paws:
PawPaw in your Food Forest

I guess that means you if you already have pollinators coming to your yard for the lilacs, you should be set to plant apples and paw paws.
 
2017 Permaculture Design Course at Wheaton Labs
http://richsoil.com/pdc
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