Trouble with yew

Haha! Couldn’t resist. But let me get to the point.

We’ve got a couple of yews in our yard. We’ve probably had them for about three years. They’ve done okay over the winters, so far, although usually I have to trim off a few dead branches.

When the snow melted a few weeks ago, however, this is the “yew view” that greeted me.

Disappointing. . . especially since this guy was SO covered with snow that I couldn’t even see it until after the snow melted. So why the damage? Usually evergreens suffer winter die-back or browning as a result of the wind drying them out. How this guy got dried out when he was literally buried in snow, I have no idea. And the other yew we have, which is in another garden altogether, looks just about as bad.

So now the question is, do I replace them? Or do I cut them back (fairly severely, as you can see) and see if they grow again?

Anyone have experience with yews? Drop some knowledge on me, yew people! (Hahaha! Ok, I’ll stop now.) 😉

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2 Responses to Trouble with yew

  1. Arleigh Berg says:

    New to your blog and reading back a few posts. What did you end up doing with the yews? I have some experience with yews as bonsai, but the idea is the same. They are a SUPER hardy plant and should bud back on the wood with the winter damaged needles. If you strip the dead needles and leave that wood, it will eventually grow new shoots. However if you choose to, you can cut those branches back to just above where they are green. New shoots should grow out. Just be careful – yew wood is the hardest I’ve ever dealt with, so heavy duty garden loppers are required.

    • Sandi says:

      Wow-thanks for the great information! So far I have done nothing with them—I clipped off some of the dead-looking branches and have just been waiting for something to happen. I am going to strip the dead needles off today–can’t wait to see what happens with them!

      Thanks again! :)

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