Ask a Question forum: Forsythia out of control, need help

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Philadelphia, PA
angryhomeowner
May 24, 2018 12:12 PM CST
I moved into my first home about 4 years ago and the backyard was a disaster. Apparently the previous family who lived here decided to plant english ivy all around the fence line which I've removed (but my neighbors don't remove it on their side of the fence so I just have to manually get rid of it every year).

There's a footpath leading from my front to the back yard, it's very narrow I can barely get my wheel barrow through. The same previous family decided to plant forsythia to use as a privacy hedge, it was planted about 1ft from the fence and only has about another foot to grow outward until it encroaches on the footpath. I've been cutting it almost all the way down to the ground each year and then letting it come back during the summer. I'm getting a little sick of this process, based on my research, these plants should've been given around a 8 ft radius to grow to maturity but I have about a 2 sq foot area per plant.

Should I just kill all of them? Is there a way to make these look good while not overgrowing the 2 sq foot area and if so, how much time would I have to spend on maintaining it? I've spent way too much time trying to cut these back and I'd rather spend my time building a small garden for food.

Thanks for any advice!
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
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porkpal
May 24, 2018 12:36 PM CST
You and the forsythia will never be happy in the current situation. I would just kill it if it is too big to transplant - which it sounds as if it is.
Porkpal
Name: Christine
Saugerties, NY zone 5a
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Christine
May 24, 2018 1:02 PM CST
Before you kill it off, why don't you ask around and see if anyone wants some of it and is willing to come and dig it up.
Name: Sally
central Maryland
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sallyg
May 24, 2018 6:02 PM CST
Ask, but don't hold your breath. You've done the best you could with your method, but it's an annual chore. I vote kill, exactly as porkpal said. Voice of experience, I have 180 feet of 50 year old forsythia. And had it at mom's house.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)

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