More of a large bush than a tree perhaps. I have many. Interesting, peeling bark. Not sure of the correct name/species. This one does set seed but I have not tried to see if they are sterile or not yet. About 12 foot tall. Going crazy right now with white flowers. Blooms after all the native Tree Lilacs and/or common Tree Lilacs around here have stopped. Does have a nice smell. Just thought I'd share. No one around here has even heard of them. Gene
Anyone live close by, I have many, many extra plants.
You are describing Syringa pekinensis (Chinese or Pekin Tree Lilac), which is a relative of the more commonly planted (some places) Syringa reticulata (Japanese Tree Lilac). It is an exceptional addition to the garden as a summer blooming large clump/shrub or smaller tree.
Not sure that there are any native Lilacs to North America - but it may seem like it where the plant is used a lot. The Japanese Tree Lilac is becoming a staple plant for urban plantings (especially under power lines) due to its tolerance of heat/drought and resistance to pests.
I like the exfoliating bark on Syringa pekinensis 'China Snow'.
The reason I have so many is that last year (or was it 2 Springs ago?) I dug up some ot give to a neighbor and some to move for myslef. For every tree I removed 3-6 new sprouts came up. And they grow quickly. Gene
I had a syringe pekinensis Ivory Silk which died suddenly a few years ago.
It was fairly mature, maybe 20ft tall. I have no idea why it died.
It went from totally normal to obvious death spiral within a few weeks.
But I have dozens of suckers coming up around it's base.
I've never been super-enthralled with the floral display,
as flowers start to 'brown-out' fairly soon after opening.
I have left a single sucker which I haven't cut down - a little conflicted to whether it's worth saving.