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How to kill a forsythia

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Starbuckz8, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. Starbuckz8

    Starbuckz8 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    So I purchased this house four years ago (before the market went down :dizzy:) and have two huge forsythia bushes on both sides of the back yard. I personally do not like them, they look OK in the spring time when they first bloom, but the rest of the year they just look like a big mess of green vines.

    The previous owners obviously never pruned, cut or did anything to them. The forsythia bush on the left has about 4 spurs and 5 for the bush on the right. The first year I pruned them down to the ground in the hope that they would die. Come spring time there they are again. Once again I pruned them and doused them with herbicide. It wasn't anything commercial, just what was available retail at the local Home Depot. It may just be my imagination, but that seemed to help them grow the same year. Into the third year (last year), once again pruned down to grown level in the beginning of spring and dug up as much as possible. I then dumped lime in the holes and covered it with a nice layer of dirt to keep the birds and other animals safe.

    Now this year they are still around. They are still growing. I've got the rest of my backyard almost perfect with this slight exception. I asked my neighbors landscapers how much they would charge to dig it out. They would not do it since they could not bring heavy machinery into the back yard. There is not ample room on either side of the house for a back hoe.

    Is there anything I can do to kill these un-killable plants.

    FYI: I've asked my neighbors in the back of me how old these are. They bought their house in 1991 and these plants can be seen in pictures of their house warming party, so they are at least 17 years old.
  2. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,777

    If you are pruning them and then spraying them this maybe your problem. You need all the leaf surface you can get to kill some plants, by pruning you are removing the leaves in which the herbicide needs to work. Let the plants grow out and spray them. Hit them again in a week or so.
  3. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157


    Forsythia are tough. my neighbor pulled the bumper off his truck trying to get a small one out.

    I had one that I cut down to the ground and the filled in about 3' of dirt on top of it to change the grade. I keep expecting to shoots to come out the ground like a bony hand coming out of shallow grave in the cemetery...

    I would spray with roundup, then wait a week, and spray again. and once you start to see color change on the leaves, then wait a week longer and cut it back. Chances are you'll be dealing with it for a long long time.
  4. Frank Fescue

    Frank Fescue LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 713

    best way to kill a forsythia?

    slow and painfully, drop off splintered limbs and torched branches to other forsythia in the neighborhood. they'll learn.
  5. heritage

    heritage LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,351

    Buy some weed - b -gon "Brush Killer".

    Spray @ Label rate 2x, 1 month apart.

  6. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,563

    Use a chain and pull it out. Attach to trailer hitch--not bumper. Wet soil deeply so that it pulls easy and most of the roots come out too.
  7. heritage

    heritage LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,351

    Do this a month after your 2nd spray.

  8. Starbuckz8

    Starbuckz8 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Thanks for the suggestions. I actually didn't even think about wetting the ground before trying to pull it out last time. I figured I could either make it my mission in life to kill it, or sell the place.

    Anyone want to purchase a house on long island? :)

    Looks like I'm back off to Home Depot to purchase some good old drinking water contamination. I mean Herbicide.
  9. mackpaint

    mackpaint LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    I always cut them down as low as possible then drill holes in stump. As many as I can fit 1/2 inches about 1 inch deep. Fill them with Roundup concentrate. never had a sprout again. Done dead.
  10. bug-guy

    bug-guy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,029

    buy some brush killer with triclopyr as the active ingredient. Read directions and make a mix. cut the shrub down and spray or dab the fresh cut with the mix. must be done quickly after the cut.

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