Answer: Early spring or late fall are the best times to transplant lilacs. Whenever you transplant trees and shrubs be sure to place them in the ground so they're growing at the same level as they were in their previous homes. If you can't tell where the original soil level was on the bark of the trunk, mark the trunk with a magic marker just before you dig the plant up. After digging a new hole, place a mound of soil in the bottom, drape the roots over the cone of soil, then check to see that the planting level is exactly the same as it was before. Once it's perfectly situated, refill the hole and gently tamp the soil down around the roots. Water thoroughly once each week until your transplants are well established. Don't fertilize at the time of transplanting - your plants will need some adjustment time before they're ready to grow some more. When new leaf growth begins, you can side-dress your lilacs with compost and/or 5-10-10 fertilizer.
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