Pruning advice

Hi all, I am just wondering how to go about pruning these please?. It's a mature forysthia and flowering current. I read that for forysthia I should take some back branches to base. They are quite thick so not sure and worried about doing it. I would ideally like to keep both about 6 foot and for them both to thicken to fill in gaps.

Thanks 😊



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Posts

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 3,328
    Gosh your forsythia looks older than mine!  Yesterday I severely hacked mine right back to about 2 ft from the base, just leaving one main trunk for the time being, to make way for a new fence. I don't know yet whether this will survive or not and am not that bothered either way. The received wisdom is that you cut one or two of the oldest stems right out and thin the rest, but looking at your photo, you have a forest of younger straight shoots. You should now cut down to a lower point, every branch that has flowered, as forsythia flowers on new shoots made this year.  If you want this and the flowering currant to bush out from the top of the wall for privacy, then I would cut it all down to that level and make them start again - pretty drastic I know. Other posters might advise a different approach, so wait and see.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 16,823
    If you do it now, you can hack the forsythia right back to stumps.   Take out the longer stems with a decent pair of long-handled pruning loppers that can manage inch thick stems and then use a pruning saw to go lower if you need to.  It will regrow several feet in the coming season and then you can thin it of it looks congested.  The new stems will flower next year as long as you get on with it early enough for them to regenerate and mature.

    Can't help with the flowering currant.  The only one I ever had was dug out asap.  
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • jaffacakesjaffacakes IrelandPosts: 315
    Thank you both. I'd rather not go right to base. That's alot of pruning. Would it be ok to cut back all the stems that flowering by say half and then cut some of the thicker stems back to the trunk (i.e to the wall that is covered in ivy)? Don't want to lose too much of it because is providing privacy?

     I kind of like the flowering currant  :| It's not very thick though. The one on the other side of the garden is much denser maybe because it's in a sunnier location. I was thinking of growing a clematis of between both of these anyway for some summer colour and extra screening.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 16,823
    Yes you can cut the flowering stems by half but I would do that to half of them and take the other half back to the thick stems.   If you leave all those thick stems you will only ever have flowers high up.  Cutting at least half of them back low will encourage new, bushier stems to form and flower lower down.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • jaffacakesjaffacakes IrelandPosts: 315
    Ok that's great. Thanks a mill. I will do that this weekend in the lovely sunshine hopefully.
  • jaffacakesjaffacakes IrelandPosts: 315
    Ok I couldnt resist and made a start but im thinking of leaving at this. I took out about 4 thick branches as low as I could go and cut back many of the others by half. I hope it recovers :o Maybe I'll have the confidence to go harder at it next year.
  • jaffacakesjaffacakes IrelandPosts: 315

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 16,823
    I think you should consider removing that left branch of the Y on the right hand trunk and taking the remaining upper stems back by half.   It will recover and thicken up better.

    Also, make sure any branch or stem you cut back to a main stem is cut close as leaving short stumps encourages die-back.  All other cuts should be made just above a shoot or bud and at an angle so rain drips off and doesn't sit and rot the wood.  A bit of tidying up needed.

    Give it a feed of pelleted chicken manure to encourage it.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 3,328
    Obelixx is right - go for it!
  • jaffacakesjaffacakes IrelandPosts: 315
    Thank you. Not sure which branch you mean though. The really thick one at the bottom or the smaller one that is growing into the other one? I guess the smaller one?

    I'll tidy up those cuts back as close to main trunk as possible. Definitely don't want die back. Will also take more off the top by half at the weekend. Don't have any chicken manure but have blood fish and bone so can try that.
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