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  #2251  
Old 03-25-2015, 08:04 PM
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OakNut OakNut is online now
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Anyone think it's too late to cut yews back?

I know that they need to be cut early, but did I miss my window?

I hate those things. People let them grow out of control over 20 years and then expect you to "shape them up".
How do you "shape" sticks??? They're only green on the outside couple of inches!
Once that is cut away it's just sticks - sticks that won't throw out new growth if not cut at the right time.

I've had mixed success cutting them back to make them smaller. A few greened up, but others took a year or two to start greening up again.
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  #2252  
Old 03-25-2015, 09:03 PM
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McG_Landscaping McG_Landscaping is online now
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You selectively prune holes into them and thin them out. The light gets to the inside and it grows in. Repeat
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  #2253  
Old 03-25-2015, 09:10 PM
Pressedun Pressedun is online now
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I just rip them out. I really hate Yews and Juniper and Arborvitaes.
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  #2254  
Old 03-25-2015, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McG_Landscaping View Post
You selectively prune holes into them and thin them out. The light gets to the inside and it grows in. Repeat
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That didn't really answer my question though.


Also, these are about 6-8 ft tall, 4-6 ft across, and 30 ft long.
Typical, old, overgrown yews that only had the "scraggly" stuff trimmed off over the years.
Fairly thin already and in a pretty shaded location under huge, mature oak trees.

I see this ending badly for the plant and for me if I cut them, but I DID tell them last summer that they needed to be cut in early spring.
I should have just said I won't do it. It's going to be a lose/lose situation - I know it.

I can SHAPE shrubs and hedges like a MOFO - they end up looking fantastic - nice and even, smooth, and level, or perfectly round if so desired, but cutting BACK shrubs can be a challenge and a challenge that can't be explained to most clients.
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  #2255  
Old 03-25-2015, 09:22 PM
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McG_Landscaping McG_Landscaping is online now
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Yeah there's not much you can do with those. Sounds like they're done for
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  #2256  
Old 03-25-2015, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McG_Landscaping View Post
Yeah there's not much you can do with those. Sounds like they're done for
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I mean, they're still mostly "solid green" with only the bottom 2.5 ft being "trunk"... you can see a little through them but it's not completely "open/bare".

I have cut the tops and sides last year taking about 8-10" of the scraggly excess off to even them up and they look "reasonable", but I just don't think cutting them "down" in height is a good move for yews that size.

I guess I'll talk to him tomorrow to confirm that he still wants them cut lower.
Let him know I don't recommend it after further research due to their maturity and difficulty recovering from more than minor trimming.
Who knows, maybe I will end up tearing them out?

How's the root system on those?
I dug out two 3'x3' shrubs for my neighbor a few years back and they were a b!tch to dig out. Can't recall if they were hollies or yews now...
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  #2257  
Old 03-25-2015, 09:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OakNut View Post
I mean, they're still mostly "solid green" with only the bottom 2.5 ft being "trunk"... you can see a little through them but it's not completely "open/bare".

I have cut the tops and sides last year taking about 8-10" of the scraggly excess off to even them up and they look "reasonable", but I just don't think cutting them "down" in height is a good move for yews that size.

I guess I'll talk to him tomorrow to confirm that he still wants them cut lower.
Let him know I don't recommend it after further research due to their maturity and difficulty recovering from more than minor trimming.
Who knows, maybe I will end up tearing them out?

How's the root system on those?
I dug out two 3'x3' shrubs for my neighbor a few years back and they were a b!tch to dig out. Can't recall if they were hollies or yews now...
Absolutely terrible. I had to take one out and rented a stump grinder their so bad
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  #2258  
Old 03-25-2015, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OakNut View Post
Anyone think it's too late to cut yews back?

I know that they need to be cut early, but did I miss my window?

I hate those things. People let them grow out of control over 20 years and then expect you to "shape them up".
How do you "shape" sticks??? They're only green on the outside couple of inches!
Once that is cut away it's just sticks - sticks that won't throw out new growth if not cut at the right time.

I've had mixed success cutting them back to make them smaller. A few greened up, but others took a year or two to start greening up again.
They shouldn't have started pushing too much growth yet, so you should be fine. Take a third out of the oldest stems at the base and reduce height by a third, being careful to make clean cuts, not to encroach on the branch bark collar, and making flush cuts onto stems no smaller than 1/3 of the size of the leading stem. They may not look great, but shouldn't be damaged.
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  #2259  
Old Yesterday, 12:07 PM
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Yew crisis avoided. LOL

Customer is hard to get on phone so I texted and explained that I'd like to discuss specifics about what he wanted done. Mentioned the risk/issues/result of reducing size and that there's no guarantee they would green up this year due to age/size/amount needed to take off to lower them.
"Trimming some of the green is fine, but reducing height by more than a few inches is when it gets tricky."

His reply: "Whatever you think is best is fine with us. Let's just make it neat."


Heh. Gotta love that kind of client.
I was preparing for complaints and "why can't you just cut them in half?"
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