Is there a way to redeem this lilac?

ViolaWittrockiana (Zone 5b Montreal)
May 29, 2019
last modified: May 29, 2019

I live in Montreal where we have green back alleys. These are city owned spaces between houses, where cars are shunned and children play. We collectively care for these alleys, and they are the biggest privilege of living in this city.

So someone, before I bought this house, planted a lilac there, right at my fence door. This someone probably did not know much about plants. The lilac is looking at east, with some morning sun. There is a 100 year old silver maple shading it as well. And a biohazard of a grape vine that took out my clothesline last year (I will have to talk to its not-so-nice owner about trimming it one day). So there is lots of shade and competition around.

When I got the house it bloomed sparsely. Two years ago, I gave it a good trim (with expectations of not getting it bloom that summer, but hoping this will shake it up a bit) and it sprouted a few. This year it is even doing worse, even though I did not touch a single bud. There are just a few blooms at the very top of the tree, and that is it.

I know this tree did not come to the world in the right place, but is there a way to get it bloom better under these conditions? I don't want to take it down, but space being very limited, I also think I can put a nicer specimen there instead.

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