Rejuvenating Lilac (branching)...

Howdy folks. I have a lilac that I'm rejuvenating. I whacked it to the ground two years ago. There are several new shoots that have grown well, but they are growing straight up and show no signs of branching yet. The tallest shoots are a little over 3'.
My question: will these new shoots eventually begin to branch out or would it be better to encourage branching by clipping above a bud?
I have no idea of the variety of the lilac. The original was about 12' tall and leggy with maybe a 5' spread. Flower color is purple. I'm in zone 5. Picture of the new shoots here:
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c271/felderbush/DSC02484a.jpg In the picture there is another of the same lilac behind the new shoots. This lilac has only two legs and is in the process of rejuvenation also. BTW, I plan on only keeping five or so of the new shoots.
Anyway, any input is appreciated. Felder.
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On Tue, 21 Feb 2006 14:47:34 -0800, felderbush001 wrote:

Good day Felder. These will branch out at some point or you can force the issue. Taking the top bud off will remove the apical dominance ( http://resources.ywgc.com/info/glossary.shtml#apical ) and branching will occur. The top few buds will try to gain dominance and become the new leaders. If you had the room for it, I would suggest that you tie some jute twine or rope to the top and bend it to the ground. Tie the other end to a stake and leave it untill you see the branches developing. At that point you can un-tie the top and let things progress as they will.
I like to manage lilacs in patches. By this I mean letting a patch grow and thinning out the larger, older shoots every few years. This way the smaller shoots get better light and they tend to produce better blooms imho.
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Hi, It should be ok just let it grow some more. My dad did the same thing years ago and no problem.
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:) Lynn


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