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Brown leaves on lilac bush

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From: Judy Wallace
City:
Brighton, IL
My 10 yr old lilac bush bloomed profusely in the spring, and has always looked green and heathy. In the last few weeks some of the leaves have started turning brown, just on some branches. I can't find any kind of insect, holes, or anything that appears unusual. The leaves just start to gradually curl & turn brown. I don't want to lose this beautiful bush!

 
Extension Message
From: Richard Hentschel
Extension Educator, Horticulture
DuPage/Kane/Kendall Unit
hentsche@illinois.edu
I would check for lilac scale which can look like bark and go undetected for a long time. scale insects feed by removing sap that the leaves would otherwise get to use. Cicada damage can also cause individual branches to flag by their egg laying habits. Any borer damage can be at the crown of the plant, not where you see flagging leaves. It is important to find the cause so any treatments are effective. You could take pictures or samples to your local Extension office for a more local response.

 
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