Planting Lilac Trees

By Todd Fratzel on Landscaping

On Sunday my son and I planted three lilac trees for my wife. She loves lilac trees and we’ve been trying to decide what to plant along the west side of the house. That side of the house has two retaining walls the step the land along the “walkout” basement.

The lilac trees we bought are about 36 inches tall with a root ball about 10 inches in diameter. The directions recommend a hole about 2 to 3 times larger than the root ball. Our lot is VERY sandy, in fact there is about 5 inches or so of loam on top of what I call beach sand. The good thing about this is lilacs like a well drained soil. So, we dug the holes and then filled the bottom with some good loam.

Lilac trees grow best in a soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. Unfortunately our soil has a pH of about 5.3 (see previous post on soil testing). After I put some soil in the bottom of the hole I applied some dolomitic lime to help “sweeten” the soil and raise the pH so it’s not quite as acidic.

Then we planted the trees making sure to leave the root ball about an inch above the surrounding ground level. The only thing left to do was water them generously and apply some mulch. Hopefully these trees will do well the next couple of years, after that they should live for a long time and provide some great early summer flowers.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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  1. A really nice article and liked to see that you gave relevant information on the Soil PH levels required. We see a lot guides that miss out this important information.

    We’ll be back to read more… interesting!

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