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Pruning a Large, very unkept Yew Tree

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by fatbatmanstan, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. fatbatmanstan

    fatbatmanstan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    On my estate at work I have four yew trees that are in a very un-attractive state, and which I had always planed to remove. This was because I knew Yew as a slow growing tree, and presumed would not look good, or take well, to being pruned to hard. They are 15-18ft high and are shaped like a wine glass, though they come together more on the top.

    The owner has said he wants them kept. I have spoken to some one who said he took his Yews, which were of a similar size, down to about five foot, and now -after about four years- were starting to look good again.

    One of the Yews has a good shape, but a fair bit of dead and brown leaves on the outside, and some dead in the middle. The health of the rest is much the smae, but these are also mishapen. One doesnt have much growth near the bottom, though this is'nt due to any disease.

    Basically if any ones any do's and donts' and what its likely to happen if I take them down low it would help me out a great deal.

    Thanks Guys
  2. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    There are just soooo many trees/bushes that go by the common name "yew" in the Taxaceae and Cephalotaxaceae families that it would be helpful to have more definitive information.
  3. Coffeecraver

    Coffeecraver LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA.
    Messages: 793

    Don't cut more than 25% at one time
    sounds like the yews already have issues,when you cut them back you are
    also cutting the food supply.

    I would cut them at the direction of the homeowner with the understanding
    in writting ,that if they do not come back,you would not be held responcible for them.
  4. packer101

    packer101 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 127

    yea don't cut more than 1/3 of it down each year, other wize it will do much more harm than good.
  5. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Messages: 2,253

    Could you attach a couple of photographs. Pruning is a two-fold art form. One for the shear beauty of the tree...(Which is what I do) and pruning for fruit, which is something that I know very little about. Very seldom do both exist, but can. There's a tree somewhere on the forum pruned by a gentlemen in Oregon that is the most beautiful tree that I have ever seen and I'm real old.
  6. DiyDave

    DiyDave LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,695

    Most yews are tougher than shoe leather just cut it off a foot off the ground, and it'll regenerate in a couple years.
  7. fatbatmanstan

    fatbatmanstan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Cheers for all the replies guys.

    Its Taxus bacata. Its only for asthetic purposes that im pruning it, and he knows what I think he should do (rip them out, and plant some large replacements- hes rich enough), but I will go with the majority and say to take them down no more than a third.

    I will try to put pics up, though im not great with computers.

    Cheers guys

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