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Forsythia

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by jwmom on September 25, 2003 06:35 AM
My neighbor has a 50 year old forsythia bush (anctually, it's grown into MANY plants now) that grows onto my property. I have repeatedly cut it back, but it still wants to encroach. Does anyone have any ideas on how I can block it from spreading my way? I have cut it back below ground level but it still sends up shoots.

My neighbor loves that bush... so I don't want to harm it... just keep it from growning into my yard. Thanks
by weezie13 on September 25, 2003 07:13 AM
Hello jwmom,
Not to sound funny,
but if you want to stop it growing into your yard, for temporary, stop cutting it!!!
Everytime you cut it on your side, you're
encouraging it to grow more on your side.
Plants/Shrubs respond well to cutting and just regrow bigger and better, where you're cutting it. Start cutting the other side, to encourage it
that way.
Are you on the side where the sun is?????

Keep cutting it on the other side, and at
the base of the shrub, place something
heavy at the base of the plant......
By cutting it on the other side it grows
more that way, and if you put something big
(Like a big rock) at the base of the plant,
it should say hey, something's in my way,
let me try this other way.
Just an idea!!!
Hope this helps!!! [wayey]
Weezie [gabby]
P.S. Our head gardening guru is from Sultan, Wa. Are you close????

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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by jwmom on September 25, 2003 08:30 AM
Thanks for your message.

I understand what you mean about not cutting it, but my neighbor loves it and won't let me cut it on her side.... so that isn't an option. I was thinking about putting something over it. I've used newspaper over grass, etc but didn't think it would work with a bush... especially one of THAT size! (It's like 18 feet in diameter) If I put a tarp over the top of the stems/trunks of the bush and cover the tarp with dirt and rocks, do you think that would help contain it? It has like 10 different plants now with woody stems near 2 inches in diameter and several of them grouped together for each plant.

I live on the north side of the bush(es).

Your help is greatly appreciated.

[wayey] jwm
by Newt on October 03, 2003 11:42 PM
Hi JWMom,
I have found that plants like forsythia expand by sending up suckers from their base. The best and only thing you can do to stop it is to either put a barrier like sturdy metal or concrete 3' or 4' below the surface of the soil or prune it by cutting the suckers below the soil. Cut the branches at ground level where you want to dig and then insert a sharp spade into the soil to cut the roots. It will remove the shoots and won't hurt the main plant. You may have to do this every year to keep it from encroaching. Take a look here.

http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/knowhow/yardandgarden/article/0,16417,333020,00.html

Good luck,
Newt

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When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.
by Jiffymouse on October 06, 2003 04:22 PM
[shocked] Barb, [devil] you are bad!! [Big Grin] [Big Grin] but actually jwmon, as tempted as I would be, [devil] I wouldn't round up, however, I would put down cement blocks to stunt/stop the growth on your side!!
by papito on October 06, 2003 07:25 PM
From your side of the fence where the Forsythia is now growing:

The one thing you shouldn't do is cut the suckers/shoots from the base. Cutting them will only make them grow again.

It is better to just pull the young suckers/shoots. If you find it hard to pull, bend the sucker/shoot almost to the ground and apply pressure at the base with your hand, foot or garden tool until it snap, then pull. The sucker/ shoot won't grow from that spot (again).

Putting a deep retaining wall as Newt had suggested is a very good idea.

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Amor est vitae essentia.
Love is the essence of life.
by jwmom on January 19, 2004 06:11 AM
Thank you all so much for your replies. We had a very cold winter here and I had to wait until things thawed out a bit to do any more. I bought a tool (like an axe on one side and a sharp spade on the other). I am planning on digging down on this side of the plant and cutting all of the roots and underground stems back and putting a lot of rock and thick plastic down on my side. I'll build a berm over the top of that to plant things I want in my yard and then just let her forsythia go on her side. I really tried to talk her into letting me cut her side of the bush too, but she didn't buy the cutting will make it grow prettier argument. Does anyone know how tall they get if I do NO pruning to it? It is all ready the wires overhead (about 15 feet up). Thanks again.

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