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mowinginva
06-06-2011, 11:05 AM
I have some Yew shrubs that are about 4'x4'x5', and I want to cut them back at least a foot on each side. Do you think new growth will come back well after such a cutting and when do you think is the best time to do it? Thanks

rlitman
06-06-2011, 04:20 PM
When I moved into my house, one yew that was in the way of my plans was around 6' tall, and similar in size to what you're describing. I ended up cutting it to around the size of a 5 gallon bucket about 5 years ago, and it's still doing just fine.
Ideally, you want to do the drastic trimming before they have their big growth spurt in the spring, but you can get away with some pretty serious trimming on a healthy yew just about any time.

mowinginva
06-07-2011, 09:06 PM
Thanks. I'm just wondering how well it will do if I don't cut it back drastically but just take about a foot off each side.

rlitman
06-08-2011, 12:28 PM
Right. You can get away with a lot with Yews. Because of the way they grow, cutting a foot off each side may be a drastic trimming. You may end up with almost no green left at all if you do that. I try to limit my trimming to no more than 2/3" of the green on a yew.

These shrubs will grow a "shell" of green when not cared for properly (or when only cut with hedge clippers) that may only be 6 or 8 inches thick, but the good news is that if you heavily prune that shell allowing light into the center, new growth will pop up from all but the thickest of branches.

Because of that, I like to hit these pretty hard with my Felcos each spring, and then I can shape them with my hedge clippers as they fill in.

mowinginva
06-08-2011, 10:21 PM
Sounds like some good advice. Thanks