Busting Myths about Growing Yew
Yew is quite a pricey plant, especially sizes over 80 cms tall that are delivered in a pot.
If you were going to get a free hedge and based your choice on saving the most money, Yew would be a top contender.
As you know, we are are yew hedging suppliers (amongst a few other plants!).
You might well guess that our friends and family often try to blag a few plants from us.
If they cook us a nice enough dinner, we might even give them a deal on some.
So we've seen a few yew hedges come up in their gardens since 1947 and we want to say a triple of things about them:
1. Yew is not slow growing
Yew is a fast growing plant when it is young.
It will easily grow 30cms per year, more if it is in full sun all day and well cared for.
Yew will begin to grow slowly when the growing tips of the central, leading stems are cut.
With a young yew hedge, simply leave the tops alone and give the sides just the lightest trim once each winter.
When the hedge reaches full size, trim the tips for the first time.
2. Yew Loves Heavy Clay
Yew trees need a reasonably well drained soil to grow. They do not like bogs or riversides.
However, they will grow in any soil that isn't really wet for most of the year - some winter flooding is fine.
Yew loves heavy clay - it grows beautifully on it in most places. You will only be unable to grow Yew if the site traps water for long periods.
When planting in clay, do not dig out a trench and fill it with topsoil.
Simply make a slit in the soil and use the spade to sweep the roots gently down into it. Firm it closed again.
3. Yew is Futureproof
Your hedge's lifespan is ~4000 years.
Unlike the other lush evergreen conifers, an old Yew hedge can be hard pruned if necessary and it will regrow beautifully.