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Old 05-16-2011, 01:11 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
28,442 posts, read 67,604,314 times
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My wife wanted some Forsythia, so we got her some for Mothers day. When I looked up planting instructions on the internet, most sites seemed to say that only an idiot would plant this monster weed. We see it quite a lot around our community and it does nto look that awful and out of control. Is it really horrid?

We need to find some more shrubs and trees that are colorful and or bear edible fruit. Any suggestions?

(our soil is basically potting clay, we get a lot of rain and very cold long winters).
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Old 05-16-2011, 01:37 PM
 
Location: Land of Free Johnson-Weld-2016
6,472 posts, read 14,697,636 times
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I agree. I abhor forsythia. My mom also likes it, though, so I may give her one of my "trimmings." Forsythia is nice because it's one of the first things to flower in early Spring. It can be a monster because it roots itself easily and can spread out of control.

I'm in the process of transplanting my overgrown monsters and their progeny to the part of the property that fronts the road in front of some pine trees. In that area, I hope they'll be in no one's way. Just tell your mom to give it lots of room. If it's planted near other shrubs, it may try to gobble them up.
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Old 05-16-2011, 02:10 PM
 
Location: North Western NJ
6,591 posts, read 22,331,826 times
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i LOVE forsynthia BUT you have to keep ontop of it so it doesnt get "weedy"
i keep check on runners and suckers (new babies) through the year and then in late fall i take out the oldest canes close to the ground and trim the newest cane to a managable height, it keeps them neat and tidy and not those leggy weedy looking things, but leaves a natural shape and encorages it to flower at its best in spring.

in terms of fruiting shrubs, look into the ederberry! pretty and yummy!
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Old 05-17-2011, 10:59 AM
 
3,763 posts, read 11,214,065 times
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Love forsythia - wouldn't be Spring without it. But I grew up in the area you're in now Coldjensens (East Sider, here) ... so I'm sure that's why. Forsythia = Spring. Lilacs = Summer.

I like it kind of wild and rambling myself - though it does take dramatic pruning into formal shapes relatively well.

Its not hard to keep control of, you just need to be vigilant.

I've moved to the land of the invasive honeysuckle shrub ... now that vile (but delightful smelling) item is hard to keep in check (you can NOT kill this stuff!) -- but forsythia, just minor vigilance and you should be fine.

Enjoy!
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:21 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
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I've had forsythia everywhere I've lived, and have never seen it become invasive.
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Old 05-18-2011, 11:39 AM
Status: "ABCDEFGplus" (set 22 days ago)
 
18,997 posts, read 16,720,056 times
Reputation: 7410
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
My wife wanted some Forsythia, so we got her some for Mothers day. When I looked up planting instructions on the internet, most sites seemed to say that only an idiot would plant this monster weed. We see it quite a lot around our community and it does nto look that awful and out of control. Is it really horrid?

We need to find some more shrubs and trees that are colorful and or bear edible fruit. Any suggestions?

(our soil is basically potting clay, we get a lot of rain and very cold long winters).
Hi Coldjensens,

I see a lot of these and practically die of boredom. Generally I rate a plant on its food value to toxicity, beauty and nativeness to the area. Thus I say it does poorly.

Look for them in Asia where they belong I say. Big deal...




How about a high bush cranberry(be sure its theViburnum trilobumrather than the euro variety) instead? It looks good in four seasons and its nice for the birds and people alike(and by that I mean eat the berries too).




I suppose that the nurseries don't like to sell natives because they grow well and you don't need new ones; or perhaps it is because you can just get them for nothing in the field? Maybe its because they don't need any special care like fertilizers and sprays? Hard to say. My yard has service berry, American hazelnut , black haw, paw paw, high bush cranberry , and nanny berry. I will probably find a place for wild plums too. They are all fantastic shrubs in every way. Perfect in Michigan. They are all edible with low maintenance.

What is wrong with this? Keep in mind these are shrubs in this case pruned into the form of a small tree.

http://www.delange.org/FloweringPlum/FloweringPlum.htm

Last edited by gwynedd1; 05-18-2011 at 11:54 AM..
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Old 05-20-2011, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Land of Free Johnson-Weld-2016
6,472 posts, read 14,697,636 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwynedd1 View Post
Hi Coldjensens,

I see a lot of these and practically die of boredom. Generally I rate a plant on its food value to toxicity, beauty and nativeness to the area. Thus I say it does poorly.

Look for them in Asia where they belong I say. Big deal...




How about a high bush cranberry(be sure its theViburnum trilobumrather than the euro variety) instead? It looks good in four seasons and its nice for the birds and people alike(and by that I mean eat the berries too).




I suppose that the nurseries don't like to sell natives because they grow well and you don't need new ones; or perhaps it is because you can just get them for nothing in the field? Maybe its because they don't need any special care like fertilizers and sprays? Hard to say. My yard has service berry, American hazelnut , black haw, paw paw, high bush cranberry , and nanny berry. I will probably find a place for wild plums too. They are all fantastic shrubs in every way. Perfect in Michigan. They are all edible with low maintenance.

What is wrong with this? Keep in mind these are shrubs in this case pruned into the form of a small tree.

Flowering American Plum, Prunus americana
LOL a woman after my own heart. I think Forsythia's are not so hot but I inherited three on my property. Apparently they hadn't been pruned since the beginning of time and are out of control. Yep, they have bright flowers in spring, but the rest of the year?

Can I eat them...can ANYTHING eat them? Scratch that, my sister's cat used to like to chew on the leaves. LOL BTW we have a lot of the same plants! Native plant SMACKDOWN.

I'm destroying one forsythia for sure this year. Don't worry forsythia lovers, I transplanted many of it's babies to border the road and the other half of the property where its salt-tolerance and insaneness may be of use. In it's place, I'm going to transplant some plants with actual utility.
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Old 05-20-2011, 09:23 PM
 
Location: Toronto
3,338 posts, read 6,157,547 times
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Forsythia bushes are very common where I live, and especially in the suburbs where they seem to be in yards and gardens wherever I look and notice in spring. They were mostly at peak/full blooming just shortly a while ago here (though a bit late due to a cloudy spring).

I've never heard of them becoming invasive and at least where I am, I've not really seen them anywhere (such as in the wild or growing in a ditch somewhere) other than in places where they were obviously intentionally planted, as small bushes or in hedges.
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Old 03-07-2015, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Land of Free Johnson-Weld-2016
6,472 posts, read 14,697,636 times
Reputation: 6464
Someone repped me for my forsythia hate. Thanks for the rep! But I've actually found some more good things about forsythia. There are definitely superior plants, but they do have a few more good points:


1. Fall color - What on earth? My forsythia have had purple, red and gold fall color for the past two years. Not too shabby. Actually I hate to bring this up, but a neighbor has a forsythia hedge along the road...and it looks like the stems are reddish gold now. Winter stem color? Mine don't have this.

2. Birds like them - Blue jays, cardinals and the other birds in the yard like to land in my big azz forsythia in the backyard. They seem to be eating things off the branches as well. With my luck they are attracted to some destructive insect that hitchhiked on the forsythia, but it makes for good bird watching.

3. Spring Forced Flowers - In late winter or early spring, you can cut off one of the MANY branches on the traditional forsythia and put them in water. They will bloom inside.
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Old 03-10-2015, 03:08 PM
 
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
16,705 posts, read 19,480,054 times
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I like gwynedd's criteria and go one step further in preferring native, or at least regional plants almost to the exclusion of garden hybrids or exotics, but I admit to having a soft spot for forsythia, I suppose because I grew up with one in my backyard.

I know they have been overdone to the point of genericity, and some people don't like the post bloom foliage (I consider it pleasantly neutral), but damn if that isn't the most spectacular display of yellow when the neighborhood is still shades of grey and brown in the early Spring!

People call it boring and invasive, but I give those awards to wisteria and honeysuckle, respectively.
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