Ask a Question forum: Trimming Large Bushes

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Name: Dave
Kings Park, NY
Halos46
Sep 22, 2017 12:49 PM CST
Hello! I'm new here, but I just purchased a home with some seriously overgrown bushes that line our fences and are taking up a ton of space! I'm hoping someone can help me out in figuring out how far I can cut these back without killing them off altogether. Thanks in advance! I also have no idea what they are so I'm including a picture, thanks again.
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Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
pirl
Sep 22, 2017 12:57 PM CST
Welcome to NGA, Dave.

Why not ask a neighbor (or two) if they've seen the bushes in bloom before you end up cutting off next year's blooms?
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: United States of America
Image
sallyg
Sep 22, 2017 11:43 PM CST
not totally sure, but looks like Forsythia. Can confirm with a closer picture. I think you're safe to give it something of a haircut now, knock it back a little.

You can NOT kill forsythia with any amount of pruning, but yes you will not have as much flowering next spring if you prune now. Really that just means- unpruned it will bloom bright yellow, cheerful in early Spring which makes it a very popular shrub. Whatever you prune back will regrow vigorously. You might wait till April ,right after blooms fall, and cut back very far. It will grow long stems again next summer and bloom well the following spring.
I am no huge fan of forsythia. I've spent too much of my life fighting them back.
Here's how they look when trying to keep them more hedgelike
http://www.gardensaliveblog.co...
but here is what the bush would rather do
http://www.coldclimategardenin...
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Image
Yardenman
Sep 23, 2017 5:25 AM CST
Halos46 said:Hello! I'm new here, but I just purchased a home with some seriously overgrown bushes that line our fences and are taking up a ton of space! I'm hoping someone can help me out in figuring out how far I can cut these back without killing them off altogether. Thanks in advance! I also have no idea what they are so I'm including a picture, thanks again.
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I have never seen forsythia grow so thickly. But like the previous poster, I don't want them. I planted a row of them to make a yard divide between my neighbor and I and it was the worst decision I ever made.

They spread just beyond the property line and when I put up a fence, I could never get at them again. To this day, they return to invade my flowerbed along my side of the fence and it is constant digging.

I keep wanting to poison the darn things. I'm not sure which I hate more; the forsythia or the groundhogs...

No wait, it is the junk trees the neighbors' have allowed to grow around the borders killing my sunlight.

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