Lilacs - Knowledgebase Question

Westbrook, Ma
Question by mainer59
March 20, 2010
when transplanting adult lilacs what is the easiest way for ex. cut them down to roots or can you pull them out with chain help

Answer from NGA
March 20, 2010


Digging the lilacs out is best for the shrub. The roots are in the top 12-18" of soil and extend out as wide as the clump of stems or the ends of the branches. Just dig down carefully trying not to sever too many roots and then replant quickly, before the roots die out. If you move them now they may not bloom for you this year. If you need to prune them back for easier handling, they won't bloom at all this year. Don't wrap a chain around them and pull them out of the ground - this will break many of the roots and the plants may not survive. Best wishes with the move.

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