pruning Forsythia?

I like the natural look in Forsythia so I definitely don't want to trim it into a hedge or shrub like some people do. However, I would like to know if there is some way to judiciously prune it so that the stems are more even in length and spread out more evenly. Withouth looking pruned, of course. And if so, how and when to do it? Before blooming, during blooming, after blooming? Thanks, Kate
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Kate Connally
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Forsythia is in bloom now or nearing the end of its brilliant yellow. Prune immediately after flowering down to good a strong-looking bud at your requisite height. If your plant is mature then it does help maintain its vigour generally if you cut out some of its older shoots right down to ground level each year, this lets more light in to the centre and encourages new growth.
Regards Mike Gilmore WinsfordWalledGarden, SW England
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what he says. by cutting out some old growth each year it will bloom well each spring. Ingrid
Prune>immediately after flowering down to good a strong-looking bud at your

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You should avoid pruning a recently planted Forsythia for a few years so that it becomes established first. Pruning them for a natural look comes from removing some old wood right down to the crown (to encourage new basal growth). Each year remove 1/4 to 1/3 of the old wood.
Forsythia flowers on year old wood, so prune them after they flower to encourage new growth for next year's blooms.
You could do some pruning in the winter and save the removed branches for forcing into bloom. Also, you can prune out suckers anytime you want to limit the girth of the shrub.
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Thanks, everyone, for the advice. The plant is about 10 years old now. It looks pretty good but has some longer stems that kind of "stick out" above the newer ones. What you all suggested is pretty much what I suspected, mainly not sure as to best time. I'll try to get out there in the next few weeks and have a go at it. Kate
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Kate Connally
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