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What is causing lilac bushes to lose their leaves?

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LILACS

EAU CLAIRE COUNTY (WQOW) -- On this edition of "You Ask, We Answer," John asked why lilac bushes and trees are beginning to lose their leaves.

According to the owner of Tin Roof Garden, Beth Luck, lilac leaves do not fall off until the first freeze.

Lilac stems are currently dying from the bottom upward, turning the leaves brown, drying out and falling off.

Luck said, although the same thing happened last year, the extent of the damage to the bushes this year is worse. 

Now, the lilac blooms are experiencing a leaf-spot disease that's grown rapidly over the summer.

"It's common in summers that have high humidity and high heat, and when plants are not spread properly," Luck said. "Like a lot of us have hedges of lilacs which means there's plants smooshed into the same area and it doesn't get enough air circulation through the leaves."

The fungus still resides on the fallen leaves and attaches to the soil.

In order to avoid another lilac-less fall,  Luck suggests leaf-blowing and raking lilac debris out from under the shrubs now so that the fungus doesn't stay over the winter.

She also recommends pruning your lilac bush by breaking away dead limbs to help growth.

Luck said she believes that the lilacs will make a comeback next year, especially if they are showing even minimal signs of life now.

You Ask We Answer

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