Ambitious Forsythia removal

poaky1September 22, 2012

As in the title, I have a Forsythia that is hell-bent on taking over part of my yard and the neighbors driveway. I want to get rid of it because being nice and pruning back a good bit of it is not going to cut it. It just pushes out more growth and is a never ending battle. Roundup only affects some of the new growth. I haven't tried the brush or stronger ROUNDUP formula. It is intertwined with a spruce (norway spruce) that I want to keep. I can try to spray something on the Forsythia and avoid the spruce, but burning would be out of the question because of the spruce.

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My Forsythias are fairly shallow rooted so simply pulling the plant out, roots and all, should not be that much of a problem. No need then to spray a plant poison that is harmful to our envrironment.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 8:24AM
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Definitely try digging it up first; as kimmsr says, forsythia are fairly easy to uproot (thank God). If you can't, cut it down to the ground and keep cutting it down when it sends up shoots - you should be able to exhaust it that way.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 10:11AM
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I didn't tell you how big it is did I? It is about 30' around in a circle. It's been there for about 16 years. It will be hard to even access the original trunk. The shrub was planted before there was a neighbor on the other side of it.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 9:00PM
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Just start cutting -you'll eventually get to the middle, and you may be surprised at how small (comparatively) the center is. My parents had a forsythia hedge that was about 15 feet deep, but the base plants were about 2 feet by 2 feet. Hopefully you will find something similar. I do recommend that you try digging it up before going to Round Up - have your pruning shears handy to cut the roots.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 10:27PM
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I tried brush and poison ivy killer. I feel a bit guilty I must say, but I don't think it is going to even make the Forsythia wilt alittle. Regular round-up did nothing at all. I may have to pay for some help on this one. I can't see me doing it alone. Thanks for the replies.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 8:39PM
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The brush and poison ivy killer was a waste of money. The Forsythia is not the least bit stressed by the application. I need to figure something else out.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 6:12AM
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You've got to cut it down first - a forsythia that big has too many leaves and too much new growth to be affected by a spray of anything, unless you cover every single leaf. The timing is bad, too, as common wisdom says that herbicides as a rule work better when the plant is actively growing - your forsythia is shutting down for the winter.

Cut it down to stubs, then put a little bit of full-strength Round Up (the concentrate) on the cut surface of the stubs - just enough to cover the top, making sure that it gets where the bark meets the inner wood.

Think of it as Samson - if you cut off its hair(branches), you will weaken it to the point that you can do what you want.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 10:27AM
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I will try that this fall or next spring.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 8:09PM
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