forsythia dying

don92April 6, 2013

I have a 5 year old forsythia that is developing hard woody brown scales all along the length of some of the branches and those branches are dying. the scales are about an eighth of an inch tall and run the entire length of a branch.Two plants adjacent to this plant look fine. They are all just starting to bloom here in Asheville NC but these branches are dead. Any ideas what it is and what I can do?

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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Any chance of posting some pictures?

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 11:24PM
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I will get then today Brandon. Thanks!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 8:59AM
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This is a scale on the forsythia that is killing it. There are still new shoots that are coming up from the base but I don't think this plant will recover. Just don't know what to do. Can't find any mention of this scale on the web.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 10:03AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Are you sure they are dead? What makes you say that? If you bend a branch does it snap of dryly? If so it is dead. If it just bends it is alive. Another clue is the dormant buds. If they rub off and fall into scales they are dead. If the are pliable and green inside they are not. Forsythia is prone to fasciation and various strange growth habits are not unusual for it. If you don't like the appearance I'd just cut those branches down at ground level.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 5:24PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

you sure you dont have a winged euonymus in the middle of your forsythia???

note the key word at the link.. invasive ....


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 5:33PM
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I'll tell ya ken, what you suggested looks exactly like what I have. Thing is though, The center stalk with this "scale"was about an inch in diameter and took up 3/4 of the forsythia plant and I don't remember seeing it last year. It certainly didn't leaf out like a burning bush last year.
I cut it out today and the stems seemed pliable and not dead.
If it is as you say a winged Euonymus, will cutting it out be enough to get rid of it? The darn thing is one inch in diameter and dead center of the forsythia trunk

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 7:01PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

On second thoughts I think Ken has got the explanation.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 3:56AM
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I think so too Flora, but where the heck did it come from? I bought 3 Forsythia 5 years ago and this comes up in the middle of one. I have not see this plant anywhere on my 10 acres.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 7:13AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

you need to treat the fresh cut.. with some round up ... just drip it on full strength ... or stump killer..

or you can do it when it sprouts 3 to 5 new twigs by late summer ...

the link said its INVASIVE.. some bird planted it for you ...

you made me chuckle.. with your description of the wings as scale.. crikey man.. those would be some giant.. man eating scale.. lol ..


    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 7:51AM
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The dog has turned up missing Ken, could be scales.
Are you saying just drip some plant killer on the cut-off stump in the middle of the forsythia? One won't hurt the other?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 10:46AM
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