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yellow bells

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by ken0564, Sep 25, 2005.

  1. ken0564

    ken0564 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 141

    have some of these that need pruning. they are large and well established (8-10 yrs). when and how much can i prune? i am in Atlanta area. thanks for any reply.
     
  2. Kate Butler

    Kate Butler LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 640

    Some of these WHAT? Let's see - forsythia, perhaps?? This divination stuff is taxing my brain. Post a pic and I'm sure someone will have an answer. Apologies for being a smarta$$. :) :)
     
  3. ken0564

    ken0564 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 141

    that would be it. sorry for the confusion. everyone around here refers to it as yellow bell. any help appreciated.
     
  4. Kate Butler

    Kate Butler LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 640

    Am I clairvoyant, or what?? There are a couple of things you need to know about this shrub. Most (if not all) of 'em bloom on new wood, so if you prune 'em at the wrong time OR too hard, they will not bloom. Their inbred desire is to become a really big 'fountain' shape (fairly narrow at the base and quite wide at the top). They also have a tendency to shoot up REALLY long stems that won't bloom for at least 2 seasons.

    Depending on what your clients want, and the amount of space they have, they can be trained as a hedge or as single specimen shrubs. You said 8-10 years old - I'd guess they're pretty big. Try not to prune more than 25% away in any 1 season. If you prune more, it's not likely to kill it, but it will take a long time for it to recover completely.

    I'd start by taking out (at 6" above the ground) the long, whippy stuff. This will make the pieces below the cuts bifurcate and fill in at the base. Then if there are pieces trailing on the ground, take those out (your choice of where to cut). They can and will tip root with soil contact. Unless they want a hedge, then let 'em be.

    Be sure and walk around the shrubs as you work to keep the look evened out. Try not to use hedge trimmers (gas or electric) on 'em, it's a very contrived look (again, unless they WANT a hedge).

    Good luck.
     
  5. ken0564

    ken0564 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 141

    for the thorough advice. I'll put it to use. Ken.
     
  6. ken0564

    ken0564 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 141

    used your advise last fall, these things have bloomed out nicely. early, i suspect due to our unusual warm weather the past month.

    would it be okay to trim again this spring once they have bloomed out? Thanks again for the advice.
     
  7. Kate Butler

    Kate Butler LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 640

    I prune mine right after they bloom: allowing for how much I expect 'em to grow out between pruning time this year and blooming time next year. For me, most of my bloom is on newer wood.
     

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