Transplanting a large Lilac?

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Old 06-20-06, 02:07 PM
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Transplanting a large Lilac?

We've just purchased an older home that has a large lilac in front of a bedroom window. It's about 12' tall and 8' in diameter with several "trunks" ranging up to 2-1/2".

We would like to move this to an area about 15'-25' from the house but don't know if it is worth saving. If it can be successfully moved, how large a root ball would need to be dug up and how much pruning should be done? Of couse, at this time it is blooming but I don't think there's much more blooming season left.

Does anyone have advise on this ?
 
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Old 06-20-06, 09:57 PM
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Hi Joe,

Congratulations on your new home! You say it's blooming now? Are you certain this is a lilac? Maybe you live in an extremely cold climate. Maybe you live in a warm climate and it's a California lilac. It would be helpful to id which it is.

Lilac - Syringa:
http://www.nic.funet.fi/pub/sci/bio/...ulgaris-1x.jpg
http://www.atlas-roslin.pl/gatunki/Syringa_vulgaris.htm

California lilac - Ceanothus:
http://www.calfloranursery.com/image...agrihoryp3.jpg

Newt
 
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Old 06-22-06, 08:36 AM
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The home is in Southern California but at 7000 ft elevation. It is not a California Lilac. The Lilacs in this area appear to be Syringa. Most of these are a pale violet color but some are white.

The location is Big Bear Lake in the mountains east of San Bernardino and this is the time that the Lilac here bloom - in fact, most have already bloomed and are now just green shrubs. The snow melted in March and it's now 55-80 degrees (night/daytime) temperature.
 
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Old 06-22-06, 05:22 PM
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Hi Joe,

Your weather sounds lovely! You have some options since it's a Syringa.

1. You could prune the oldest trunks to the ground to make it easier to transplant and handle and just dig up a large rootball. Do be sure you have some young shoots. New shoots can take 5 to 7 years before they bloom. If you try and get the entire rootball you will probably need a tree hand truck aka hand cart to move the rootball. You can rent these.
http://www.popularmechanics.com/home...tml?page=2&c=y

2. You can just dig up some of the new shoots and discard the old rootball.

3. To renovate an large overgrown lilac you can prune off 1/3 of the largest trunks each year for 3 years. So you would only do 1/3 now before you transplant and the rest over the next two years after you move it. Then move what is left, taking a large rootball.

Here's some handy sites on transplanting, pruning lilac, wrapping the rootball (b&b), and watering.

Pruning lilac:
http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/hortn...993/lilac.html
http://www.gardenersnet.com/lilac/lilac02.htm

Transplanting trees and shrubs - the first one is a video and the last has a good pic of a shrub wrapped:
http://www.arborday.org/trees/video/howtoplant.cfm
http://www.ext.nodak.edu/extpubs/pla...ees/f1147w.htm
http://www.tree-planting.com/tree-planting-8.htm

Watering newly planted shrubs:
http://www.watersaver.org/pdfs/shrub...mendations.pdf

Don't forget the mulch. This is for trees, but the technique is the same.
http://www.treesaregood.com/treecare/mulching.aspx

Lift with your knees!
Newt
 
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