Hicks Yew Hedge Question

TimO_in_CtMay 18, 2005

Dear Members,

I just planted about 180' of Hicks Yew (about 60 plants) for a privacy hedge here on the Connecticut coast. The plants are 3-4' tall in ball and burlap, set into a trench, and filled with the typical manure/compost/humus/native soil mix. I used some super phosphate in the bottom, and some holly tone on top, and mulched over. The hedge looks great. My question is- should I shear the tops back now? I'm in the habit of pruning back newly transplanted shrubs, but in the case of these, I'm not sure. Each plant has several inches of new growth.

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Ron_B

Your post lists a litany of mistakes, I am afraid.

1) Amended planting holes (trench)

2) Fertilization (presumably) without sampling soil and having it tested

3) Top pruning at planting time

Too late for 1 and 2, but you can still prevent 3.

In future, skip 1 and 2.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2005 at 4:42PM
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Ron_B

The burlap, nails and ties should come off and out of the hole, too.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2005 at 4:44PM
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TimO_in_Ct

Thanks Ron,
Unfortunately, in our area, a certain amount of fill is necessary because of the rocks. For example, in the first 100' of the fence we removed about 5 tons of rocks and boulders. Enough to make a rock wall 3'high and wide, and about about 20' long. Small price for living in paradise I guess.

The burlap came off. We slit the bottoms as they went in and then just pulled up on the burlap. Ours had rope, not the wire cage that would have made it much more difficult.

Personally, I don't consider root stimulator a fertilizer, but I guess it is. The HollyTone is pretty aggressive as well, and for the local conditions, a pretty good idea.

Could you suggest a maintenance program for this plant/hedge? Do you have alot of experience with it? I seems, due to its natural shape, to require very little pruning or shearing.

TIA,

TimO

    Bookmark   May 18, 2005 at 5:15PM
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Ron_B

If you can let it grow, then do, because clipping it will be alot more work.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2005 at 3:11AM
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ashridge_trees

Hi
Yew is slow growing AFTER you cut off the growing tip. Therefore, if you want a hedge, trim the sides (cut them back quite hard the first time to encourage branching), but leave the tops alone until they are at least as tall as you want the hedge to be. Before you cut them they will grow at up to 12' a year. After you cut them, you are lucky if you see 2'.

A mulch of well rotted compost or you know what, about 1' deep every couple of years will keep them happy, and improve the soil as the worms carry it down.

At Ashridge Trees we grow and sell about 10,000 yew a year so hopefully we know what to do with them.

Good luck

Here is a link that might be useful: Ashridge Trees

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 5:20PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

In the case of annual growth I suspect you mean inches, not feet. If the mulch is to be a foot deep - not at the trunk, I presume.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 11:42AM
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stshu

I have a 100 foot of hedge. Planted 4 feet apart they are 8 to 10 feet tall, seven years old from seedlings. They have never been pruned. They are starting to lean about 1/2 way up. How do I prune to make the top half stronger, and straight

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 11:22AM
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mwilcox_triotel_net

Just planted 8 hicks yew end of the summer 2010 I have a lot of brown branches now is this a normal happening coming out of a hard winter or do I have some other issues?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 8:57PM
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