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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 30, 2007
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    3,154

    Default Garden Experts - rehabing forsythia?

    I have TONS of ancient forsythia in my yard (and tons of lilacs too! ) Our forsythia is nice and green on top, but just sticks on the underside. DSO had read that we should take it down to a few inches above the ground (which sounds extreme to me) - is this the right thing to do? Also, suggestions of WHEN to do the work on it would be great... we are in the Great Lakes region, so it has just finished blooming.
    Thanks!
    D.
    Founder of the I LOFF my worrywart TB clique!
    Official member of the "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique
    http://wilddiamondintherough.blogspot.ca/



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2008
    Location
    Western NY
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    5,871

    Default

    I had someone hack mine down pretty small year before last, right after blooming, and it grew back just as ginormous and bushy. Pretty quickly, too. It blossoms all over.
    "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

    Graphite/Pastel Portraits



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2001
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    Default

    yes, whack them down. they bloom on the new wood.

    If you are uncomfortable with drastic moves, do it in thirds: chop 1/3 off this year, another the next year and the last 1/3 the one after that. But they do pretty much need t be whacked down on a regular basis to stay nice.

    the third method btw is recommended for lilacs!

    (and what you cut off the forsythias, you can root for new plants)
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2000
    Location
    Rochester,NY,USA
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    Default

    I moved here 23 yrs ago and there was a very lg forsythia at the side of the garage rubbing off the paint. For probably 10 yrs I just trimmed it back twice/summer and then I really chopped it down to about 12" from the ground. By the next fall it had grown to a lovely height and was quite nice. Yr after that and for several more, I still had to trim it back twice/summer so I hacked it down to about 12" again. I figure about every 4-6 yrs I'll just chop it back.

    If you have a lot of the forsythia bushes and are concerned about cutting them back just do one or two and see how you like them by the next yr.
    Sue
    Back in my day, we didn't have as many warning labels because people weren't so dang stupid!



  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2003
    Location
    Canada
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    Default

    Ideally, take a third out by cutting from the ground every year, after flowering. You can trim the tops as you wish - to make a hedge or just keep it low.
    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 30, 2008
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    Default

    It's bloody hard to kill forsythia. Chop away.
    Flip a coin. It's not what side lands that matters, but what side you were hoping for when the coin was still in the air.

    You call it boxed wine. I call it carboardeaux.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 14, 2003
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    Default

    Right to the ground. Pretend you are trying to kill it. It will laugh in your face and grow back a beautiful shrub (well as beautiful a forsythia can be).



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2008
    Location
    Western NY
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    Default

    I just mentioned to my husband that we should cut back the forsythia.

    "What's the forsythia?"
    "The big yellow bush that just finished blooming."
    "..."
    "The giant, twelve-foot-tall bush that takes up half the yard."
    "..."
    "It's next to the pond. Branches keep poking the gazebo."
    "..."
    "For an entire month it was bright yellow. It's the twelve-foot-square bush that was bright yellow, for a month, right next to the patio that you walk onto every day to take the dogs out."
    "...huh."

    ETA: Our yard is approximately 20' x 40' and he just weed-whacked it two days ago.
    "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

    Graphite/Pastel Portraits


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec. 1, 2012
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    with Alfonso Spagoni, the toreador. NOT in a ticky tacky box!
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    102

    Default

    Hack that baby straight back! Now!

    It'll grow back nicely, no probs.

    To keep I nice and full, not leggy and greenless on the inside, hand prune. Don't let it get so full that you can't see the stems. That goes for all bushes. If the sun can't get in, it will only grow on the tips.

    CFF


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep. 29, 2006
    Location
    NW Oregon
    Posts
    549

    Default

    Forsythia is also extremely easy to root from cuttings, so when you prune, stick the cuttings in rooting hormone and plant them -- or skip the rooting hormone and just stick them in the ground. Most will grow. You could even make a forsythia hedge.
    They're not miniatures, they're concentrates.

    Born tongue-in-cheek and foot-in-mouth



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 6, 2003
    Location
    CT
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    3,461

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jen-s View Post
    It's bloody hard to kill forsythia. Chop away.
    No kidding. Been trying to kill mine for years and it still keeps coming back.
    Damnit.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2001
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    Quote Originally Posted by susanne View Post
    Forsythia is also extremely easy to root from cuttings, so when you prune, stick the cuttings in rooting hormone and plant them -- or skip the rooting hormone and just stick them in the ground. Most will grow. You could even make a forsythia hedge.
    skip the root hormone. A bucket full of water works as well, too.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb. 4, 2009
    Location
    NCC DE
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    Default

    I have a forsythia that was accidentally (if you call the oil delivery guys getting stoned in the truck an accident) doused in gallons of fuel oil. Died back to the ground. I thought it was dead, but no, the next year it was back.

    Several years later some idiot drove his car across the front of my lawn and took out the forsythia (and the concrete corner marker). Left a big hole where the bush was. I thought it was dead, but no, the next year, from what I can only assume was a couple of stray roots, it returned. Like a freaking phoenix. I actually wanted to take it out but it's so damned tenacious I figure it wants to be here. I decided to let it stay.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2003
    Location
    Canada
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    Default

    Like Yucca - we thought they had pulled it all out when they asphalted our driveway - but noooo, it is sprouting through the new asphalt. Must have left a little root, too.
    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar. 13, 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    933

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sketcher View Post
    Right to the ground. Pretend you are trying to kill it. It will laugh in your face and grow back a beautiful shrub (well as beautiful a forsythia can be).
    ^^^ Yep!!! We WERE trying to kill it—a whole hillside full. Paid a commercial outfit to brush-hog a chunk of land being reclaimed by nature last November. Scraped it down to dirt-level but didn't get the chance to dig out the roots in time before the ground froze. The frickin' forsythia is knee-high already and as pretty as can be. i HATE it!
    "Dogs give and give and give. Cats are the gift that keeps on grifting." –Bradley Trevor Greive



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