Pruning back a large Forsythia/Beech hedge
Hi, I have a lot to learn with gardening and did some forum searching but couldn't quite see anything covering this.
I have a large mature hedge which has largely grown wild although gets cut back to maintain the shape it was when I inherited it. It seems to be made of various things but by far mostly Forsythia and Beech. The hedge is very leafy which I'm fine with. It's about 3.5m high, about the same in length, around 2m thick at the base, 2.5m at the top.
What I'd like to do is prune it back to be around 1.5m thick top to bottom, back to where the thicker older stems are at least but that means quite a large reduction and certainly cutting back all the leaves. So how robust are Forsythia/Beech and is there a limit to how much you can prune without killing it off?
I've seen that you need to time it to see flowering the following year but I'd be fine if it takes more than a year for it to recover as long as it will ultimately. That said how soon would you expect it to take the leaves to grow back?
Thanks in advance for any advice.