monkey1962(7)March 23, 2014

hi all,
Ive got a forsythia in my back garden that has me confused, the net says it should be more of a bush, this one it tall, aprox 2.5 mts plenty of yellow flowers ( which identified the plant ) and i cant find out why it is tall and not bushy, does anyone have any clues, or have i got the wrong plant/shrub. its defiantly got the yellow flowers like a forsythia but dosnt look like a classic bushy one, how some one has some idea why its growing this way.
thanks for all your help in the past and future


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laceyvail(6A, WV)

Perhaps it was newly planted and hasn't fully developed yet. If so, give it time.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 6:21AM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Forsythia is the only bright yellow leafless shrub you are likely to have in bloom at the moment. The only other one would be Kerria japonica and that is unlikely to be so tall. The height is not unusual, especially if there is a bit of shade. Most forsythias you see will have been pruned and that will make them bushier. There are also several types some of which are more prone to throwing out long canes than others. I suggest some Googling to find out more about the variety of habits. If you post a picture we can comment with more accuracy.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 7:57AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

how about a pic to ID it ...

timing would be right for forsythia... i think its a bit early for kerria ...

but then what about witchhazel????

where are you???


    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 8:49AM
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cecily(7 VA)

Forsythia planted in shade will be taller and more scraggly. Normally in full sun, mine can be cut to about three feet after blooming and it will be a bushy six feet by fall. I think many people do cut them down after blooming to control size and cause bushier growth.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 11:09AM
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thanks all for your replies, ive found a photo similar to mine although mine is not so bushy (see photo attached ) i think its down to not pruning it properly as is stated in all answers, it my mums who recently died and im trying to get every thing back in shape in her memorial, in on the east coast of linclonshire uk

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 11:30AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

I would call the one in the picture mal-pruned and congested. Before dwarf cultivars became prevalent a fully developed forsythia was most often an arching fountain of flowers of some height. Part of maintaining a soft and graceful appearance could include periodic cutting out of entire older, twiggier canes.

This post was edited by bboy on Sun, Mar 23, 14 at 13:51

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 1:50PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

before i give you my full thoughts.. did you just buy this house????

and while you are at it..explain the berm wall at its feet ...

lets just call this: wrong plant.. wrong space.. wrong pruning .. wrong.. wrong.. wrong ... lol ... [OK... i cant wait.. i am blaming the prior owner.. here and now ...]

get rid of it ... and find something that will fit that space without torture ... including the proper sun requirements ... [this was probably in the right space when the tree and it.. were babes ... and that is part of your problem.. and it will be much easier to get rid of this.. rather than the tree]

go plant your own mistakes... instead of dealing with the prior owners mistakes ...


    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 7:06PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

The one shown could be cut low right after bloom to be started over from the base, periodically cut down again as it is decided it is becoming too big once more. There should be some years of growth and acceptability between each overhauling, with the shrub being left to grow naturally between hard prunings.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 10:12PM
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ken ken ken calm your self down , you have not read my post at all it was my mothers house , the picture is not my tree as explained but one just to point out how mine looks, sorry if i gave the wrong impression, the tree is similar but mine is smaller so i will take the advise gratefully received and wait until it finished flowering and prune it. any other advises is always graciously received

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 4:47AM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

Find out the proper way to prune forsythia before you just start hacking at it.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 6:04AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i was just in a weird mood ... forgive me if you understood it any other way ...

google: rejuvenation pruning of flowering shrubs.. but speed up the process .... and remove everything over about 3 feet tall.. as close to the ground as you can ... 3 to 6 inches or so.. wherever the saw will fit in.. a sawzall with a plant blade makes the job easy ... but not with a lumber blade .... NEVER give it a haircut ... at height ....

the true form.. which you are looking for.. involves long single arching branches ... check google images.. and you will surely see what i mean ...

and by next season... new growth will be to 3 feet or so.. and after bloom .. take out the rest of the old stuff ..

you can NOT kill this thing ... especially with no insult to the root mass ...

i did two overgrown monsters myself last year ... on the same method ...

good luck


ps: i knew it wasnt your fault ... lol...

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 7:09AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Often the taller stuff will be what is younger and more productive - you do not want to cut out the young, strong canes and leave the old, declining, twiggy ones.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pruning Cane-growers

This post was edited by bboy on Mon, Mar 24, 14 at 11:16

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 11:14AM
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