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Re: Transplanting Lilacs

Jeneva wrote:

>Does anyone know how best to transplant these shrubs
>or their shoots?

Young suckers with a healthy chunk of root seem to transplant the 
best.  Kimberton Hills Camphill Village, the former Myrin  summer estate, 
has a whole section of amazing lilacs in the most wonderful colors.  I 
wanted some for my community garden, so I did some reading to find out how 
to transplant, take cuttings, etc.

Root cuttings taken in the fall are the preferred method.  I convinced my 
then-boyfriend, soon to be husband last fall that he wanted to come with me 
on a mission to propagate rare lilacs which meant digging in solid clay 
that probably hadn't been disturbed since the Myrins left in 1976.  Since I 
couldn't remember which lilacs were which colors, we took rooted suckers 
from all of them! :-D  All but two of them leafed out this spring, so I'd 
definately recommend this method.

One can also take softwood cuttings after the lilacs have flowered.  I've 
done this with an ancient lilac from a colleague that is growing out of 
wall and such, doesn't have any rooted suckers.  We'll see if the cuttings 

Good luck and enjoy transplanting your lilacs.  I also have two at my 
community garden that were "rescued" two years ago when someone decided to 
build on the land they were on.  They were not thrilled at being 
transplanted in early May, but with water and a thick mulch, they bloomed 
beautifully this year.

Dorene Pasekoff, Coordinator
St. John's United Church of Christ Organic Community Garden

A mission of
St. John's United Church of Christ, 315 Gay Street, Phoenixville, PA  19460

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