Can we rejuvenate forsythia shrubs by cutting them totally to the base next spring? #258785 - Ask Extension

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Can we rejuvenate forsythia shrubs by cutting them totally to the base next spring? #258785

Asked July 02, 2015, 12:50 PM EDT

I am trying to rejuvenate a garden at my church. Two specimens have me pulling my hair out! Forsythia Northern Gold and Blizzard Mock Orange. The shrubs were planted in 2011 and were "sheared" the past two summers by someone who likes a "neat look." As a result, the growth is awful with stems every which way! We tried removing one-third of the stems (to the base) this week, but they still look pretty bad. Can we rejuvenate these shrubs by cutting them totally to the base next spring? I know this works with dogwood.

Washington County Minnesota

Expert Response

Yes, if they are healthy, both of these shrubs will respond well to rejuvenation pruning. 
Bob Bystrom Replied July 02, 2015, 1:06 PM EDT

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