Lilac bush questions

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We have a lilac bush that we have cut down to the very base. New shoots are coming out all over that part that is left. Is there any way that I can take those shoots and transplant them somewhere else? I love the bush, but not where it is now.
  6 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jun 14, 2016
    why did you cut the bush so low?
  • Jody Kopec Jody Kopec on Jun 14, 2016
    If this was an established and large lilac, there isn't much chance that you can transplant it at this time of the season. If you planted one from a pot, it would be fine. If you wanted to propagate some of the branches elsewhere, you put a cutting into root compound, gel compound and place it into a little greenhouse site, so it stays warm. As mentioned above, this is not the correct time of the year to do this without the use of a greenhouse environment. If you want to wait until next year; early spring you might be able to get enough of a root from a sucker. Look closely around the base of the original bush. Good Luck. I'm not sure where you are living, the latter might work if you live in a northern climate where the plants have not really started growing.
  • Bmasecar Bmasecar on Jun 15, 2016
    HI Hope you see this. The simple answer is yes but it does require work. There are two ways to do this. First take a careful look at the base of the tree. If there are shoots coming up 4 to 5 inches away from the main stem area they may have some roots. Dig down around one carefully and see what you find. If they show roots. cover again and water the whole thing well. The next day, Dig around the shoots but stay as far away from the shoot as you can, You are trying to get the shoot and as much root as you can with it. Transplant your new shoot/shoots and keep them nice and watered over the summer . Liked your other readers answered, fall would be the best time to do this but you can do it now. The second way is much more work but has worked for me. Dig around the the whole root ball about a foot out from the trunks of the bush. Dig down at least a foot better if you can go deeper. Now the work if you dont want the whole thing. You can use an axe, or an old tree trimming saw, or if you have access to a chain saw (You will have to replace the chain when you are done) saw from the top into the root ball to below ground. Then use the axe to chop the root ball in half. Yup you are going to wreck/dull the saw and axe but when you are done you should have a viable root to plant. Dig the hole, add some compost amend the soil and drop in the root. Cover and water well. Look after it this summer and it should be fine next spring. Give it a couple of years of growth and careful pruning to shape the tree.
  • Lynne Henry Courtney Lynne Henry Courtney on Jun 15, 2016
    Bmasecar has it... the small shoots farthest away from the trunk are most likely to have enough of their own roots to allow you to carefully and gently dig with a fair amount of soil around each one, carefully cutting away from the main trunk with a pair of garden shears or secateurs. Prepare a spot in a nice sunny location and carefully move the sprout with its soil into the new hole. Don't set it too deep - keep it as close to the same level as it was in its old spot. I also agree with moving the shoots in early fall. You could prepare now by digging down gently to where the shoots are attached to the original trunk and cutting each one carefully away from the trunk BUT leaving them in place - try not to disturb the roots they already have. Keep them well-watered over the summer and the roots they already have will develop much better without being able to feed from the main trunk, so you will be better able to transplant them in early fall (end of September is perfect - past the earlier hot and dry weather). The rest of your old lilac will continue to produce new shoots as it tries to re-grow itself... you may want to dig it out anyway, in which case you can split it and re-plant (as above); or, if you would like to keep it in its old place, you can allow it to re-grow and train it the way you'd like it to be, keeping it well-pruned. Enjoy all your new lilac 'babies'!
  • Sue Kiene Sue Kiene on Jun 15, 2016
    Bmasecar and Lynne Henry Courtney have it right. Yes it may not be the perfect time to move it but with care all things can be done.
  • Bmasecar Bmasecar on Feb 13, 2018
    HI, wondering, did you move the lilac and how did it do?
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