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How to Move a Lilac

Q: Hello, We have mature lilac bush (tree) on our property that we would like to move.

It is probably 35-40 years old (guesstimate), pruned to about 8' diameter, and 8' high.

Any suggestions?

John and Conni

A: If your lilac is a single stem, you should dig a rootball at least 10" in diameter for every inch in diameter the trunk is, measured at 6-8" above grade.

This translates into a minimum 30" root ball if the trunk is 3" in diameter at this height, 40" if the trunk diameter is 4", and so on.

If you have a multiple stem lilac, add up the trunk diameter inches, then divide by 4, i.e., if you have 4 trunks and they add up to 24", you end up with 6". You now should dig at least a 60" diameter rootball to get as many roots as possible.

It sounds like you have a pretty large lilac, so you may want to have it professionally moved.

A small to medium size tree spade may be the most efficient, and cost-effective, way to move this plant, and I suggest you secure a couple estimates.

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