nico6196(Z5a)July 25, 2008

After doing some research I think what I need in my back corner (under a Honeylocust tree) are some yews. I'm looking for some that stay small, under a meter and one that grows to about 6ft (or can be pruned to this size). Any suggestions on types? From what I read the Hick's one may be a good bet along with the dwarf 'Nana' but of course my local nurseries don't have these species. I am able to get my hands on the following very easily... 'capitata', 'fairview' and 'hilli'. Any thoughts on these? Or should I try to find the Hick's and 'nana'? TIA

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Where are you located? Which garden centres have you visited?

Hicks were available in plentiful nos. last year at such places as Loblaws. This year however,they may have been sold but I wasn't looking out for them and hence cannot tell if they were avail. this year. Last year I bought about 16 of them for hedging purposes. They are upright, cheap ($7 sales price) and great performers. These can grow very tall I believe. Survived winter very well. Some did splay out due to the heavy snowfall but next this is easily remedied by securing their limbs with twine.

my thoughts? you can't go wrong with any variety of yews. Whatever you choose should be fine. Choose one in which you find the foliage thick and attractive. Prune them to keep them small. the thing about yews are that they are forgiving even if you happened to overprune. They will regenerate branches. With my Hick's yew, I have them 3 ft tall (and intend to grow them to 4 feet) and I have them shorter at 1 1/2. Since Hick's yews are naturally columnar & tight - they don't make good candidates for rounded forms of yews. they do great as squares and rectangular shapes. Just check the back of the label, and note the size of it. Perhaps check the websites on the plant's natural shape so it helps you decide what sort you'd like to get.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 1:48PM
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I have a Margarita Yew which is lime green. Grows 4-6 ft but can be pruned with no problem.It's Z4 but grows in z 3 with a bit of mulching around the base. I'm sure if you google this yew you will find garden centres in your area that carry it or any other type as well.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2008 at 12:17PM
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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

I grew a Hick's yew for about five years. It is probably one of the most common and easily available ones. It was just starting to gain a bit of height (and was definitely bushy and green) when I had to remove it because I adopted a puppy and he was going through a chewing stage.

Anyways, in zone 3 they require a sheltered site, ideally part sun in summer and shaded in winter, and I had to wrap it really well with an old blanket. You obviously won't have to do that in your zone.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 10:10AM
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Lots to choose from in yews & related plants.

Here's a few from my back yard....

Taxus cuspidata 'Capitata'

Taxus baccata 'Watnong Gold'

Taxus baccata 'Fastigiata Aurea'

Cephalotaxus harringtonia 'Korean Gold' ("plum yew")

    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 7:10PM
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I love that capitata yew! It has great bones to shape into a bonsai shaped tree.


    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 9:33AM
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Thanks for the responses and the pics. I live in Guelph BTW. The 'Capitata' at my local nursery is conical in shade (like a Christmas tree) and very tight, nothing like yours jaro in montreal. Here's another question, can I prune a conical-shaped taxus to something softer? The shape of it (of the ones I found) are keeping me from buying it.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 8:31AM
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Ha! ha! ....funny you should say that!
My 'Capitata' started out exactly like the ones you saw at the local nursery.
When I purchased it, you couldn't see the trunks.
I let it get established for about a year.
The following year I pruned it aggressively, as you can see in the photo on the left -- with lots of trunks visible.
A great big pile of branches & twigs went into the garbage.

Today the yew looks completely different (picture on right).

I adjusted the size of the photos such that the plant is roughly to the same scale in both of them (as you can also tell by the fence boards).

There are still too many trunks, so at some point I will start pruning out the thinner ones, eventually leaving maybe 3 or 4 nice fat ones.....

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 3:39PM
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Hi Jaro
My understanding is Taxus baccata is usually hardy to Zone 6. What is your experience with them on surviving in your area?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 1:18PM
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I don't have enough years of experience with them to be a reliable guide, but so far (two winters) they've done well.
Also, they are planted in relatively sheltered areas of my back yard -- I'm pretty sure they would NOT survive in the front of the house, where cold winds blast at full throttle through the street in winter....
It also helps if they can have shelter from bright spring afternoon sun, which can burn them.
Also, I have heard from others that the 'Watnong Gold' especially is quite hardy in Z5.... some even doubt that its a T. baccata.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 1:56PM
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Thanks Jaro for the info. (I do have a couple of varieties of golden form of yews that can withstand very exposed condition and are not baccata.)

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 10:52AM
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Thanks for all your responses. I just planted my 'Capitata' yew with two 'New selection' yews on both sides and I'm looking forward to seeing how they do in the space.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 1:03PM
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