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Lilac roots everywhere!!!  RSS feed

 
Posts: 23
Location: Ontario, Canada. zone 5 continental cold temperate
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We moved here (Barrie, Ontario, Canada) 4 years ago.
In those 4 years we have been yanking out lilac roots from our entire backyard. I even began to wonder if we were on some old homestead whose house had been surrounded by lilacs. (We aren't. We are built on the remains of a small sand & gravel pit, created in the 50-60s to extend the highway 400 further north.)
There is one lilac bush, Syringa vulgaris, near the back fence. We live on a hill, and it is planted just over the crest of our little plateau, on the west side.

WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT THESE INTERMINABLE ROOTS?
They pop up everywhere. In the veggie garden, along pathways, in pathways, in well-trodden areas, in little-used areas... and in our compost bins. arg.

Any and all suggestions welcomed.
(We can't have animals, so rooting by animals is not a do-able thing here.)

Thanks, everyone, for your thoughts.
Debbie
 
pollinator
Posts: 292
Location: Quebec, Canada
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I have some lilac trees, but I do not have the excessive problem that you have.

If I were in your situation, I would simply treat them like a weed and cut each new shoot to the ground as I find them.  In our grassy areas, the lawnmower keeps the spreading shoots cut back.

Evenually, they will die out if all the new shoots are always cut back.

Maybe others will offer a better solution than mine.
 
pollinator
Posts: 4339
Location: Anjou ,France
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Most Lilacs bought from shops these days are grafted on to privet to stop this problem . So my suggestion if you want to keep a Lilac bush is to graft some on to privet roots and then chop down the tree after a year or so it will stop sending up roots .

David
 
Debbie Sauerteig
Posts: 23
Location: Ontario, Canada. zone 5 continental cold temperate
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Michelle, thank you for replying.
Cutting grass keeps the new-found lilac stems short, but they live on. These roots have gone down a hill, around a pond, and back up the hill on the other side... all underground! We have had to pull amazingly tough roots out for every garden we have created. Hard work. But it must be done or else the gardens simply become a new patch of lilac!
 
Debbie Sauerteig
Posts: 23
Location: Ontario, Canada. zone 5 continental cold temperate
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David, I didn't know that you could graft the lilac onto privet. Very interesting (and do-able!) I had learnt that the French hybrids were less invasive than these old ones that were brought to the "New World" by pioneering families.
My problem is the growth rate and tenacity of the roots. Any suggestions?
 
David Livingston
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Location: Anjou ,France
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firstly there are not roots there is a root , its all one plant I suspect .  Unless you can cut down the original tree you are wasting your time as more will reappear . Cut that down and eventually by cutting down the root/suckers as soon as they appear in a year or so it will have died as not enough photosynthesis going on to support it . Can you try goats
 
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