Adaptive directional wavelet transform is an effective alternative of the traditional 2-D wavelet transform for image coding. It is able to transform an image adaptively along diagonal orientations as well as conventional vertical/horizontal directions. However, it requires to transmit transform direction information to the decoder side. For image coding at very low bitrates, the bit budget of the direction information degrades a reconstructed image quality. In this paper, a method to construct a scalable bitstream for transform directions is presented. We utilize the fact that the matrix yielded by transform direction indices still contains the original image characteristics. The matrix is transformed by a block-lifting based DCT, then encoded by SPIHT to yield a scalable bitstream. Our method is effective for very low bitrate image coding, and is comparable to the non-scalable one for middle-to-high bitrates.