Can I root lilac?

I lost a lilac bush to the sidewalk plow this winter. Most of the plant was lying on the tree lawn, in two large pieces.

We’ve only had two days of warm weather, so my guess is that it’s mostly still alive. I cut off all the intact smaller branches, which had green, healthy-looking cambium, and brought them inside. They are now sitting in four vases, with water.

It was a very pretty lilac, and I’d like to root some of the twigs if I can. I’m pretty sure my next door neighbor started two lilac bushes when I was a kid by rooting some flowering branches.

Any advice?

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I’ve only had luck digging root shoots with lilacs. I wanted to try air layering, but had enough digging bits, so didn’t try. You might try a very damp soil and hormones with a humidity dome or milk jug. Somehow the commercial places get starts, just don’t know how.

If there’s pieces of root in ground still, it may sprout out. Layering is a wway to propagate.
If I was going to try cuttings, I’d try in June or July.
(Unfortunately you don’t have that option…so try it in water, but I don’t think your odds are real high.)

All the root of undisturbed, and a bit of trunk remains. There’s a decent chance the plant will regrow. And if it does, maybe I’ll do a better job of keeping it from growing into the sidewalk.

There’s a retaining wall next to the sidewalk, and this lilac grew above the sidewalk. But there is shade, and it also grew forward, and tended to fall into the sidewalk.

I made a somewhat serious attempt to tie it up and out of the way this fall, but something must have chewed through the rope, and it was sprawled at chest level, where the sidewalk plow took it. :frowning:

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Sounds like you have a decent chance it’ll come back from the roots then.