Forsythia -- air layer, cuttings or dig out?

Domi

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I'm a beginner enthusiast, with a few pine bonsai-wannabes (some collected, some grown from seeds).

I have a big forsythia in the back garden. Was thinking of starting a bonsai from that one, as I need to heavily cut back the bush.
I'm considering a few options, but I'd like your input on what would be the most successful:
  • Do you think propagating via air layering would work on a forsythia? If yes, how old can the branch be?
  • Can I propagate forsythia via cuttings from a several years old branches (old hard wood)?
  • Which method would you recommend to propagate forsythia (so that I don't kill the bush, or end up with dried twigs)?
  • If I'd dug a part out, how much of the roots should I dig out, how much would be ok to cut back?
Many thanks,
Domi
 

Cadillactaste

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leatherback

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  1. Do you think propagating via air layering would work on a forsythia? If yes, how old can the branch be
  1. Any size will work. Just realize the wood is prone to rot so you may get a partially hollow trunk on the larger specimen
    [*]Can I propagate forsythia via cuttings from a several years old branches (old hard wood)?
    Yes
    [*]Which method would you recommend to propagate forsythia (so that I don't kill the bush, or end up with dried twigs)?
    Cuttings
    [*]If I'd dug a part out, how much of the roots should I dig out, how much would be ok to cut back?
I dug one with a 1 1/2 foot diameter base. Reduced it to 2ft diameter including roots to fit in a 2ft dish. That summer it grow so much I had to sell it: I could nto water frequently enough. inches per week.
One of the branches, about 3inch diameter, was damaged and had pushed a root through the back. I sawed it off, and put it in the ground. It lives and is now a big bush in my growbed, with massive trunk (Did die-back significantly though).

These things live as long as there are some roots, in my experience.
 

Domi

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Some minor updates.

My initial experiment with old hardwood failed. So I tried again, with soft wood, and semi-hardwood.

I’ve decided to try three different options:
(1) one pot outdoors, in semi-shaded setting;
(2) one pot outdoors, covered with a plastic transparent bag in morning sun setting;
(3) one pot covered with a plastic transparent bag, indoors in full sun.

Options 2 and 3 succeeded, option 1 slowly dried out. I’ll keep these outside in the garden and see how they handle the summer.

During this winter I’ll try again with old hardwood, and also to dig some out of the ground.
 

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