Sunday, October 16, 2016

Sidewalk Tree Unveiled: Syringa reticulata Japanese Lilac

After 2+ years living in this development, they added sidewalk trees up and down the street. Anticipating a Bradford pear, I already had plans to swap it out for something else. After a week of spying out the window to see when they would actually put in the tree in front of my house, it finally arrived - and I couldn't tell what it was. I send my friend Mike some photos and he immediately identified it as Syringa reticulata a Japanese lilac tree.

Japanese lilac, that sounds pretty! Well, Mike said it's sort of a boring tree, and that it does have white flowers in spring but that they start dying as soon as they open. At least it's not as brittle as a Bradford pear, so it won't damage cars parked in the driveway or on the street. It's also a little smaller than a Linden, so it might go well with my existing front yard tree - or at least not compete for a number of years.

Let's take a look... Obviously I was out there poking around and taking pics with my iPhone. Such a newsworthy event! Not every day you get a new tree.

japanese lilac twig detail
Twig detail

new sidewalk tree
Placement relative to the other tree in my front yard

japanese lilac bark detailjapanese lilac bud detail


japanese lilac leavesjapanese lilac leaves


japanese lilac dead flowerstrunk damage new tree


mulch base of young tree
Unnecessarily large hole for the root ball - but probably good so the clay gets chopped up

mulch base of young tree
Massive mulch pile around the base
Even thought the tree is likely dormant, I went ahead and slow watered it so the soil around the base would settle and get all the air pockets out. It's also going back up to 80 this week, so if this thing can get a few roots in before winter all the better. We'll see what happens in the Spring!

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