Three things happened to me or more correctly I noticed over the Thanksgiving weekend. I read a fairly new book by Sydney Eddison about downsizing large gardens as one gets older and I spent time showing my daughter all the trees and shrubs growing in North Stonington, CT which was to help her with her course in horticulture at Smith College (I was quite impressed as she seemed to recognize everything except Fraxinus and Sassafrass).
The third thing was I noticed how vigorous and healthy the lilacs at the Vermont Welcome Center on Rt. 91 in Guilford were. All the plants there get heavily pruned--way more than I would ever do it even if I had plenty of time to prune and/or money to hire people to help me do it. The lilacs are doing very well and are particularly well budded for next May. Suckers have either been removed or there just aren't very many- the plants look like a dark purple one -perhaps 'Monge' which doesn't sucker prolifically anyway. The main "trunks" which are about one inch in diameter are cut off at about 4 to 6 feet--there about 6 per plant. There are many many very prime looking flowering shoots coming off each one of those trunks- I predict excellent blossoms nest spring.