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shrub substitutions

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by grassmasterswilson, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,966

    First i'm not looking to get into instals. I did have a designer do my personal home and i am doing the work.

    The foundation shrubs on the front are Duke gardens yew, but couldn't find them and she substituted yewtopia. Any other similar substitutions?

    The same with fastigitia yew around back. Its only 3 but having trouble finding them.

    Got a local nursery that has all but those 2 plants and they are a major part of the design.
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Generally a yew is a yew, is a yew... Are there special characteristics that make any kind of real difference?
    I always like to use Techny Arbs as opposed to other varieties, only becuz they grow quickly and have a bright green color, but out in the landscape you couldn't tell the difference by looking at it...
  3. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    Google photos and growth characteristics and see if they are close enough to substitute.
  4. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,263

    Do you do much landscaping, axe? I must disagree with your comments.
    There are many yew cultivars that have distintive needle shape, color, and form. And yes, those of us that use many arb cultivars can tell the difference between a Techney and a Holmstrup and a Smaragd and a whatever.
  5. integrityman

    integrityman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,713

    Starry night is correct. There are many different varieties of yews.

    Regarding the "fastigiata" yew- it sounds like your looking for 'Hicksii'. These are generally widely available. If ya cant find em dowm there- lemme know, come Spring Ill get you as many as ya want and ship em too ya!
  6. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,263

    There is a fastigiata yew. Taxus baccata fastigiata. Commonly referred to as Irish Yew. Hardy in zones 6 to 9.

    In northern climates we would probably use Hicksi but the Irish Yew is a little more refined (not as coarse.)
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I'm not trying to say it doesn't matter, and that there are not differences, my point was:

    Is this going to be a landscape in which it will matter? Every garden party from now on will have the underlying, inside joke about how Joe the Landscaper put in that common yew. "That Joe is such a card!"... :)
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Besides, without some protection from the dessicating winter winds, we are lucky to have any yews, let alone some variety that may look a little different.

    But we have a 'golden spirea' in various locations that are definately worth getting the right variety, and providing the right growing conditions. I believe that providing AlSu for Rhodedendrons and Burning Bush is more important than the individual variety, because you need a proper environment for any variety to perform well.

    It is all a matter of priorities and the overall effect of the landscape... A plant right next to the entryway of the house is more important than one buried in a sea of color and texture... :)

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