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Forsythia help

Hi, I’m new to the world of gardening and although I am proud of what I’ve planted, I have no idea how to handle what is already in aka this massive forsythia! I would really like it smaller but would cutting it back hard damage it? I’ve taken off some new growth to neaten but don’t dare cut anymore! 


  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 9,465
    Hello Laura,  Welcome to the forum. Firstly, do you know what is behind the forsythia in the garden behind? You may well find it's hiding somebody's shed, trampoline or greenhouse. It's pretty hard to kill a forsythia, the worst that can happen is you might lose some flowers next year. Assuming it's not hiding anything ugly behind it, you need to cut down to the ground at least 2 or 3 of the oldest shoots, the darkest brown knobbly ones. You might need a pruning saw for this. Then stand back and assess what you've just done, which might be enough.  If not, cut down by one-third half of the remaining branches, trying to keep a balanced outline and again have a good look at it. That should be enough for this year, but you might then find it growing lots of strong new shoots, which can be cut back as far as you like. Hope this helps. Good luck.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 78,472
    Hello @lauragriffiths_25 and welcome 😊 

    If it was mine I’d thin it out from the base by cutting out some (probably two or three) of the thickest oldest stems right at the bottom.

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • It’s beautiful when it is in flower so will definitely be keeping it and it doesn’t hide anything sinister as far as I can tell! Looks like I will need to buy a pruning saw this weekend and get busy! Thank you so much!
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