I have had this shrub for 50 years. I read that this might be the life span. However my husband and I are seniors and pruning was not done last year and/ or perhaps too late. Should or could I cut/prune it down. if so when and how much. Missed the yellow this spring. Thank you
Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners.
Depending on the variety, forsythia shrubs will live 30 to 40 years, sometimes more. So, your shrub is likely near the end of its normal life.
However, the plant could still have some life left.
Forsythias flower on the previous year’s growth. If pruning was done in the late summer / fall / winter, as you suggest was possible, the flower buds were cut off.
I would not give up on the forsythia just yet. Feed it with some compost. Prune back a few of the older branches when you see the other forsythias in your neighbourhood have just finished blooming, no later. And wait.
Hopefully, your lovely yellow flowers were reappear next spring.
Here is some more information from a previous post:
April 22, 2021