How to Plant Lilac Trees in Canada


Lilac (Syringa vulgaris) is a heavily scented, spring blooming shrub that can be trained into a tree shape. Cold hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture zone 7 up to zone 2 in northern Canada, lilacs can grow as much as 12 feet tall and wide. In addition to the common light purple, lilacs can also have white blooms. Lilac, like other trees and shrubs in Canada, are best suited to spring planting when the soil is workable.

Step 1

Choose a full-sun and well-drained location to plant a lilac tree in Canada. Lilac will grow in most soil conditions but prefers soil with a 5.5 to 8.0 pH. Kits are available at garden centers to test the soil pH level.

Step 2

Dig the hole for the lilac twice as wide as the container and as deep as the root ball is tall, or from the bottom of the container to the top of the dirt in the container. The wider hole will promote better root penetration. Jab the tip of the shovel around the sides of the hole to further loosen the soil.

Step 3

Spread about 1 inch of organic matter, like compost or leaf mold, in the bottom of the hole. Topsoil can be substituted for organic matter.

Step 4

Remove the lilac from the container and place it in the center of the hole. The top of the root ball should be at ground level. Add or remove soil from the bottom of the hole if necessary.

Step 5

Backfill the hole halfway and then water to settle the soil. Finish backfilling and water again.

Step 6

Apply 3 to 4 inches of mulch, like wood chips or leaf mold, around the lilac, covering the disturbed soil. Keep the mulch about 3 inches away from the trunk. Prune off any limbs broken during planting.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Organic matter
  • Mulch
  • Pruners


  • North Dakota State University: Common Lilac
  • Macphail Woods Nursery, Canada: How to Plant Trees and Shrubs
  • Environment Canada: Healthy Trees and Shrubs

Who Can Help

  • Plant Hardiness Zones of Canada
Keywords: plant lilac, lilac shrub, trees in Canada, plant lilac Canada

About this Author

Barbara Raskauskas is a certified e-learning specialist and certified Microsoft Office specialist. She has written web content, technical documents and course material for a decade. Raskauskas now writes how-to's, product reviews and general topics published on several websites, including Demand Studios.