Japanese Tree Lilacs are now showing large, lacy white blossoms that seem to float on the edges of the trees, even as they infuse the air with a sweet and rich fragrance. While the blossoms of most other lilacs are at their best in May, the Japanese Tree Lilac usually blooms in mid to late June in the northern tier states.
I love Japanese Tree Lilacs partly because they are usually able to do well in the clay soils that are a frustration for many of the people who visit our garden center. While Japanese Tree Lilacs will grow very nicely in rich black dirt, they have a wonderful ability to grow nicely in most clay soils as long as there is good drainage in the planting area. If Japanese Tree Lilacs are planted in soggy, poorly drained soils they will not grow well, and gradually die. Lilacs of all kinds need soil that drains properly, and Japanese Tree Lilacs are no exception.
Common Japanese Tree Lilacs have a very nice oval shape and can grow to a mature size of 25-30 feet tall by 20-25 feet wide. For homeowners who want a bit smaller tree, there are some nice varieties of Japanese Tree Lilac that are shorter and narrower. Ivory Silk Japanese Tree Lilac is rated at 20′ x 25′ tall by 15′ wide, while ‘Snow Cap’ Japanese Tree Lilac matures to 15′-20′ tall by 10′-15′ wide. ‘Snowdance’ Japanese Tree Lilac is a shorter and wider variety selected by Rod Bailey and rates 18′ tall x 20′ wide and has nice large blossoms that are sterile, so no seeds are produced.
All the Japanese Tree Lilac varieties I’ve mentioned are very cold hardy, carrying a zone 3 rating, and should be healthy and disease free when planted in 1/2 day to full day sun and soil that drains properly Fertilize moderately and during the first year, water frequently with modest amounts of water, being sure to avoid super saturating the soil.
Observe the trees around town, on the way to work, while running errands, or whatever takes you out and about right now and you are sure to see a Japanese Tree Lilac in all it’s glory right now. Stop in and see our Japanese Tree Lilac and we are sure you will find the perfect spot in your landscape for this beautiful tree!