planting forsythia bushes

Hi all....I live in southern New Jersey...and wanted to know about planting forsythia bushes. Just wondering a good time of year (early spring maybe?) to plant them...and how many feet away from a stockade fence?? And how far apart? Any information will be great...thanks.
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On 3 Mar 2004 15:48:32 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (mike) wrote:

When to plant? Ask at your garden center or check with your local extension agent. (Early spring is ideal, but I believe you could plant them on an ice floe and have them fluorish.) Usually, when they're available for sale, it's quite close to planting time.
How far apart? Depends on what you want them to do. Unpruned, they will easily grow 6-10' canes. Which, if allowed to touch the ground, will eventually generate a Forsythia jungle -- they root in an instant. If regularly pruned, they can be maintained as smaller 'bushes' indefinitely.
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For somebody from New Jersey, you ask a lot of stupid questions. Have you ever heard of doing a Google search?
If you had any sense at all you would plant something else instead. Forsythia are cheap weedy shrubs that can quickly overrun you yard with straggly growth. Most of the year they are an ugly mess. You wanting to plant them show you to be a cheapskate with absolutely no imagination.
Almost anything else would be better. Try hardy shrub Hibiscus ("Rose of Sharon") instead.

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (mike) wrote in message

First, you do not really have to plant storebought bushes. You just take cuttings from an existing plant (best in the fall, but right now is fine too, so they can get a couple months of rainy weather) and stick them into the ground, perhaps two or three per site if you want to be absolutely sure one will take. Forsythia is the easiest shrub to propagate. How big will they grow/how fast will depend on pruning and the amount of sunlight they receive. I would not use them as the main plant for a fencerow, but perhaps mixed, with some groundcover under.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (mike) wrote in message

Spring is good, forsythia is very hardy. A good row of forsythia will run 6-8' wide if unchecked. If you are going to prune them regularly as a hedge then 2' from the stockade would be OK. If you are going to let them run wild then 4' is probably a good idea. Are you sure you want forsythia?
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snipped-for-privacy@localnet.com (Beecrofter) wrote:

The problem with forsythia is it really only looks spectacular when allowed to go a bit wild -- it looks hideous pruned or hedged (except when flowering) as there seems to be no way to prune it without making it look stubby & damaged -- it's just supposed to be a very big fountaining shrub. One permitted to get easily reach twelve feet high & wide is awesome, but stubby ones after their brief flowering are just stubby sticks. There ARE syringa cultivars that stay smaller if you shop carefully & look hard for one.
Alternative choices of showy low maintenance very flowery deciduous shrubs exist galore. Shadblow serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis) can get very tall but easy to keep narrow & upright by clipping suckers; there are cultivars that are naturally smaller; & the fruits that follow the white flowers are very sweet. Or western syringa (Philadelphius lewisii) is usually taller than it is narrow, say four feet wide & eight tall if not often pruned; one version has double-flowers. Flowering currants are also great choices, Ribes rubrum for lovely flowers & the best fruit, Ribes sanguineum for the best flowers & good fruit. Yet another great choice would be Highbush Cranberry, the best looking shrubs being Viburnum trilobum or Viburnum sargentiana, with maple-like leaves having gorgeous autumn colors, lacecap flowers reminiscent of hydrangea, followed by gorgeous berries, bitter but edible
All these are deciduous, low-maintenance, & very ornamental. All can be controlled for smaller sizes with judicious pruning, but for my taste the only one that cannot be pruned aesthetically is the forsythia because it is nothing but upright sticks if cut short, but a beautiful fountain of limbs if it has a twelve-foot circle of space to fill out. In many places, too, forsythia is very, very, very common. I love it even so, but I'd give higher priority to other choices & add a forsythia only if there was tons of space & room for an "extra" shrub.
-paghat the ratgirl
--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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