Posted: 15/05/2012 at 08:08
Hmm, well it's a good sign that underneath the bark it's nice and green. I do think that the fruit tree is taking up most of the nutrients and water in the soil so a good feed and watering after flowering will be very welcome. Some bonemeal and compost will be fine. Make sure it doesn't touch the stem of the Lilac or fruit tree. Also water the tree in dry periods and mulch after watering to retain the moisture but make sure the soil never gets too wet; the soil should feel moist but not soaking wet.
Some of the tiny buds might still open after you have fed and watered the Lilac but it's also likely that a number of them have been caught by late frost. Hopefully more leaves will develop.
Pruning out dead branches is never wrong and I'd recommend that you keep removing the suckers. I would also remove the flowers after flowering. This way the energy will go to forming new flower heads for next year. Good luck and please let me know if it's picking up or not.