I think I made a bad decision on a lilac and I need some advice

Muchas_Plantas

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I had this incredible lilac in my backyard since I moved here. I trunk chopped it and it came back with a vengence. Between my dog digging up half the roots and the fact it was really shaded out, I saw it as a good opportunity to dig it up and get it training in good soil and full sun. I know it's not smart to dig trees with leaves on, but hey I jumped the gun. Big-time. I thought it was a good decision in the moment but as soon as I did it I freaked out and realized I should've just dealt with the shade and filled in the hole with fresh soil. I encountered a ground cover about 3 inches down that the roots were entangled in, but I thought I still had it under control. It came out of the ground with very minimal rootage.

I'm so upset. This is quite a specimen to kill based on impatience and poor decision making. I really hope it survives but the prognosis is terrible. Wrong time of year AND unneccesary root removal for a deciduous tree spells danger.

I put it in a pond basket with a layer of pumice filled in with my Bonsai mix (DE, pumice, lavaand a bit of peat, added some Willow bark and beneficial bacteria and watered in with vitamin b. I am keeping it in the shade. I have also put a translucent plastic bag over the tree with some added moisture, leaving the basket to breathe.

Anyone with experience in this particular realm of screwups have any tips to increase the chance of survival for this tree? I also reduced about 25% of the foliage to try and match the roots without stripping the tree. Any advice is greatly appreciated not I do NOT want to lose this tree
 

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Mike Hennigan

Chumono
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Looks ok to me? Is all this growth new since colllection? If you’re going to do the plastic bag thing, you may as well put the entire tree and pot inside the bag. The humidity will help roots grow too which’s what you need. Just watch it carefully for fungal stuff and don’t put in all day sunlight.
 

Mike Hennigan

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Looks ok to me? Is all this growth new since colllection? If you’re going to do the plastic bag thing, you may as well put the entire tree and pot inside the bag. The humidity will help roots grow too which is what you need. Just watch it carefully for fungal stuff and don’t put in all day sunlight.
 

leatherback

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Not sure what you call very little roots. But this looks fine to me. If this is more than a few hours after collecting, the tree seems capable of keeping turgor (cell water pressure) up, as the green staks are not droopy. You should have a living tree.

Many broad-leaf deciduous species can deal with a growing-season dig.
 

Muchas_Plantas

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Looks ok to me? Is all this growth new since colllection? If you’re going to do the plastic bag thing, you may as well put the entire tree and pot inside the bag. The humidity will help roots grow too which is what you need. Just watch it carefully for fungal stuff and don’t put in all day sunlight.

The growth was on there, it's since the Trunk chop 2 months ago. I'll check it again tomorrow but no droopage yet. I thought it took longer than a few hrs to show droopage
 

Shibui

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You will be surprised what some species can cope with. Even if it decides to droop and drop the leaves do not despair. Trees have a way of working out what is necessary until new roots are functioning. Fingers crossed.
 

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