Lilac trees are not only beautiful, but their flowers can add a wonderful fragrance to your yard. If you're thinking of planting lilacs, the easiest way to go about it is to purchase some pre-started trees at your local nursery and transplant them into your yard. Then, caring for them properly during the first year or so will ensure they grow strong and healthy. Here are some tips to help you along the way.
Planting the lilac bush.
Wait until a warm, sunny day to transplant your lilac tree. Lilacs like sun, and this will help them survive the trauma of planting. The best time to transplant lilacs is in late spring, though they'll be okay if transplanted in early to mid-summer, too. Choose a site where the soil is loose and well-drained, and where the lilacs will receive sunlight for most of the day.
Dig a hole that is about twice as wide as the root ball on your lilac tree. This will ensure the roots have plenty of soft soil to push through as they begin to grow and establish themselves. Place the lilac bush in the hole, and fill it up with soil. Make sure you don't mound soil up against the trunk of the bush, as this may cause rotting. Pack the soil down firmly, and then apply plenty of water. Scatter some mulch around the base of the lilac bush (but again, not directly against the trunk) to help hold in the moisture.
Caring for the young lilac bush.
During the first few weeks that the tree is in the ground, keep a close eye on it and water it whenever the soil becomes dry. Do not over-water the bush, however, as this may drown out the roots. Test the soil by picking up a handful. If it compacts in your hand when you squeeze it, then it's wet enough already and you don't need to apply any more water. After your bush has been in the ground for a few months, you only need to water it when there's been a period of drought.
After your lilac tree has been in the ground for about a month, you can apply an all-purpose fertilizer according to the instructions on the package. Going forward, aim to fertilize your lilacs once a year in the springtime.
Prune your lilac bushes once a year in the late winter, before buds appear. Remove any branches that appear brown and dead. Be careful to sanitize your pruning shears with alcohol before using them so you don't pass on any fungal infections to your trees. To learn more, contact a tree care service company.